“You’re my brother, Scott,” Stiles whispered as he closed his eyes one last time, “You’ll always be my brother.”
Scott felt his heart shatter into a thousand pieces as he heard these words. Sharp, jagged pieces that scrapped his insides until there was nothing left but a sickening, empty hole. The boy in his arms, his best friend, his brother, let out a couple shallow, raspy breathing. Then he went limp.
Scott never seen him so still. Stiles Stilinski was always moving—talking, twitching, waving his hands around to get attention. Even asleep, he was muttering and tossing and turning in his bed.
This was wrong. This was just wrong.
“Stiles?” Scott whimpered, shaking the boy slightly, “Stiles?” When no response, Scott pulled him closer to his chest, holding him tightly, as if he tried hard enough, believed hard enough, his brother would revive.
Come back, Stiles. We were supposed to save you. I love you. You can’t leave me. You’re my brother. Please come back.
Suddenly Scott’s chest tightened and he felt like he had forgotten how to breathe. He wheezed in effort, trying to get air into his lungs. Someone grabbed his hand and squeezed.
“Scott, breathe,” Lydia urged, taking in her own shuttering breath and exhaling slowing. He focused on her green eyes, red and blotching from crying, and copied her. They stayed like that, staring at each other for the next few moments, (in and out. In and out) trying to survive this mountain of pain, together.
Soon, Chris Argent arrived, yelling for his daughter. Allison ripped herself from Isaac’s comforting embrace and through herself into her father’s arms.
“He saved me, Dad,” she sobbed into her father’s jacket, “Stiles saved me.”
Scott’s head snapped up as the reality of those words sunk in. Allison could have died and Stiles could have lived. He didn’t want that option either. They were all supposed to all get through this. He wanted all his pack to survive.
After calming his daughter down, Argent gathered Lydia, Kira, Scott and Isaac together to rehearse a cover story for what happened there that night.
“There was a car robbery, alright?” he instructed “There were two men. They wore masks. You think one of them had a knife. Don’t get into specifics. If you get confused, say ‘it happened so fast.’”
He drilled the teens on the story a few times before finally calling the Sheriff’s department.
John Stilinski knew something was wrong when the call came in. The kids were supposed to get in, find Lydia, get out and come back to the station. If there were any injuries, they would have stopped by the animal clinic. The fact that neither had occurred meant something far worst had happened.
The Sheriff jumped into his cruiser with Deputy Parrish close behind and sped off down the road. They ended up arriving before the ambulance. The two officers found Allison, Lydia and Isaac huddled in the courtyard together, all obviously been crying. Kira was nearby with her mother. Scott and Argent stood off to the side, the older man speaking to the younger quietly. Stiles was nowhere in sight.
“Where’s my son?” Stilinski asked no one in particular, “Where’s Stiles?”
The teens moved closer together, adverting their eyes. Then, Argent stepped forward, face sympathetic.
“Sheriff Stilinski, I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Chris Argent, Allison’s father. I am deeply sorry but…”
At this point, Stilinski stopped listening.
He was apologizing. Why was he apologizing? Where was Stiles?
Stilinski repeated the last question out loud. Argent turned and led him to the other side of the court yard.
At first, the Sheriff could not understand what he was supposed to be seeing. The darkness and shadows made it hard to tell but he saw that there was something on the ground a few feet in front of them. Someone.
A young boy laid unmoving on the pavement, covered by Argent’s jacket.
His knees gave out as his brain registered the information that his eyes already knew.
It was his son. It was Stiles.
A sound like a wounded animal escaped the man’s lips as he crawled to his boy and gathered him into his arms.
NonononononononNoNoNoNONONO! STILES! His son. His baby. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. He was supposed to go first. Thiscan’tbehappening! Thiscan’tbehappening! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!
It felt like hours had passed as Stilinski sat on the ground, sobbing as he held his only child, rocking slowly. The ambulance had already arrived but due to the circumstances, the EMTs left the Sheriff alone and focused on treating the other teens. When they checked out, Parrish took Scott, Lydia and Isaac back to the station to answer a few questions. Argent had convinced him Allison was in no state to be interrogated and Kira’s mother had already taken her home.
When he was finally ready, Stilinski allowed his son to be carried away. He felt like the last part of his heart was going with him.
After answering Parrish’s questions at the station, Scott numbly headed to Kira’s house. The last thing he wanted to be was alone right now. Kira’s mother, Noshiko makes him some chamomile tea to help calm him down.
“So, what do we do now?” Scott asked, after taking a sip.
“With the Oni in the Nogitsune’s control, it will be difficult to defeat him,” Kira’s father, Mr. Yukimura, informs the teens.
“But Allison killed one of them. Doesn't that mean something?” Kira asked, pulling out her phone, “We should call her.”
“No,” he told her firmly, “Allison has been through a big ordeal. You can call her in the morning.”
“But I saw her. She killed one of them,” the girl insists.
“And the Oni killed Stiles,” Scott replied, bitterly. He sets the tea cup on the coffee table and focuses on not crying again.
“The Nogitsune made a powerful move splitting the two of them,” Noshiko tells him gently.
“So what’s our move?”
“At this point, you need a divine move.”
The older women asks him to rise and leads him to across the room where game board is set up. It is similar to a chess board. Two wooden jars, one red and one black, sit at opposite sides of the board.
“In the game of Go, it's what we call a truly inspired, or out-of-the-box move,” Noshiko explains, “The Nogitsune has had sente, the advantage, until this point. What you need is a divine move in order to turn the game around.”
“Okay, so is anyone feeling divinely inspired?” Scott asks, thinking how that would be something Stiles would say.
“Mom, you said you trapped it in a glass jar, right?” Kira piped up.
“It wasn't the jar that trapped it. It was where I buried it.”
Scott instantly knew where she was talking about.
“A place I don't know too much about,” Noshiko admitted.
“Who does?” Kira asked.
“Deaton,” Scott tells her, a spark of hope rising in his chest, “Deaton does.”
With this knew found knowledge, the boy sprints out the door, heading to the Animal clinic.
Across town in Derek’s loft, Derek crouches in front of an injured Ethan as he burns his wounds closed with a lighter. Aiden stands nearby, watching quietly.
“Should be fine in a couple of hours,” He tells the Omega when he’s done, “Unless whoever shot you manages to find you again.”
Aiden immediately jumps up and heads for the door.
“Lydia's with Scott,” he tells his brother, “We need to go.”
“Are you going try to convince her to go with you?” Derek asked.
“I'm going try and convince her to run and hide,” Aiden snapped, “Like any sane person would do.”
“And Danny?” Derek prodded, turning to Ethan.
“Stiles' dead. The Nogitsune is killing people all over town. What do you think?”
“I think Danny won't believe you,” the Bata responds sincerely, then turns to Aiden, “And Lydia would never run and hide.
“Because of Stiles? To honor him?”
“No. Because of Scott,”
Derek stands up, looking the twins dead in the eyes.
“You've been trying to find a way into his pack. Trying to earn his trust, trying to fight for him. You've had it wrong the whole time. You don't fight for a leader. You fight for a leader's cause.”
“What cause?” Aiden huffed.
“Scott's always been about one thing,” Derek told the Omegas, his voice strong and commanding, like an Alpha, “Saving his friends. He will do anything and everything to save the people he cares about. When there's no chance of winning, he keeps fighting. When all hope is lost, he finds another way. And when he's beaten down, he stands up again. You want to earn a place in his pack? You want redemption? Find another way to stand and fight.”
Scott called Lydia in rout to the clinic, but was surprised to find her already there with Deaton in the examination room when he arrived.
“Wasn’t ready to go home yet,” she explained. Scott nodded in understanding and then turned to Deaton, quickly explaining what he had learned from the Yukimuras.
“You say that it was the Nemeton that kept it trapped,” the Druid said, after he finished, “The problem is this isn't even a person you're fighting. It just looks like one. It's a spirit that's taken the shape of a human.”
“The shape of my best friend,” Scott hissed, his claws retracting. In his mind’s eye, he saw Stiles falling into his arms, his blood covering his hands.
Lydia put a hand on Scott’s shoulder, calming him down.
“Someone caught it once,” Lydia reminded them, “someone can do it again, right?”
“I don't know,” Deaton admitted, “This thing was trapped a long time ago, before the Nemeton was cut down. It doesn't have the same power anymore.”
“Is there anything that does?” Lydia asked.
“Possibly,” Deaton said thoughtfully, “When the tree was whole, its wood was sometimes used to contain powerful objects. But those objects are very rare.”
Lydia perked up in realization.
“Wait a second. Powerful objects? Like an Alpha's claws?”
“Which Alpha?” the Vet asked.
“Talia Hale. Peter had them in this wooden box with a triskele carved on the lid,” Lydia explained, excitedly, “What if it was made from the Nemeton?”
“It was,” Deaton responded, quietly.
“How do you know?” Scott asked his boss.
Deaton regarded the boy calmly.
“Because I made it.”
Scott and Lydia stared at the man in confusion.
“You?” Scott blurted, “Why?”
Deaton sighed, looking down at the metal examination table.
“As you two very well know I was the Hale pack’s Emissary before the fire. Before she died, Talia came to me asking for a favor. She wanted a box made from the wood of the Nemeton. She wanted…”
“She wanted a place to keep her claws,” Lydia finished for him, “she wanted the memory they held to be protected.”
Deaton nodded, confirming this suggestion.
“What memory?” Scott asked.
“The memory that Peter Hale is Malia Tate’s father.”
For Scott, these words were like a sock in the stomach.
Peter was a father? Malia and Derek were cousins!?!
“I believe that Talia feared for Malia’s safety and it was not to in the in the girl’s best interest for Peter to know of her existence,” Deaton explained.
Suddenly Scott remembered something from earlier.
“Lydia, after we separated…Stiles from the Nogitsune, Peter said that he exchanged his services for a name. You told Peter Malia’s name, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” Lydia whispered, “It was to help Stiles, not that it did any good now.”
The girl began sniffling, her eyes suddenly filling up with tears. Before she knew it, Lydia was full-on crying. Scott instinctively wrapped his arms around her, hugging her against him, tightly.
“Why, Scott? Why?” she sobbed into his shirt. Scott wished he knew the answer.
At Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, a boy with the face of the recently deceased Stiles Stilinski walked up to a Help Desk.
“Hi, there,” the Nogitsune greeted an orderly politely, “Could you page Melissa McCall for me, please?”
Before the man could react to this request, two Oni appeared on either of the boy. One of the Oni drew its sword and stabbed the man through the chest. The Nogitsune watched the man, disinterested as he fell behind the desk, dead.
“Well, I guess I'll just find her myself.”
Somewhere on the fifth floor, Melissa walked with her ex-husband down the hallway, trying to understand what he was asking her to do,
“So I tell Scott that his dad went back to San Francisco, says he's sorry, but he didn't have time to say goodbye?”
“Right,” Raf flippantly agrees, “Then I'll send a follow-up email or something.”
Melissa stopped in her tracks.
“You're an idiot,” she told him, dead-panned. The two board the elevator at the end of the hall. Raf pushes the button for the first floor
“What's wrong with that?
“Seriously?” she demanded, “Raf, you say that you want a relationship with your son. You can't just bail after one fight.”
“He hates me.”
Melissa sighed, feeling both exasperated and sorry for the man.
“He doesn't hate you. He just wants you to try harder.”
Before Raf could come up with a response, the lights in the elevator flickered and it came to a shuttering stop.
“What's going on?” Melissa asked.
“I don't know,” Raf answered looking equally concerned.
They hear their elevator “ding” and the doors slid open to reveal a slaughter. Two Onis move down the hall, dressed in black robes with their faces hidden by sinister white masks. They use their swords they both weld to slice and stab at the nurses and orderlies that had the misfortune to be present at the time.
The Oni closest to Melissa and Raf swings it’s sword at them but, Raf is able to pull out his gun and shoots it. He manages to close the elevator door and turns around to discover Melissa slumped on the floor, a long, nasty-looking sword wound in her leg. It releases a thin wisp of smoke.
Lydia, having finally calmed down, stiffens in Scott’s hug.
“Scott, something’s wrong.”
Scott pulls away from the girl and looks at her in concern.
Lydia licks her lips as she tries to formulate what she is sensing.
“Death,” she whispers, her voice shaky, “a lot of people are dying right now.”
Lydia swallows, her mouth now extremely dry.
“…and Scott, I think you should call your mom.”
Scott, hearing these words, whips out his phone and calls his mom on speed dial.
“Ow!” Melissa groans, “What the hell is that?”
Raf examines the wound, afraid to touch it.
“I think it's poisonous.”
“Well, it hurts like hell,” Melissa snaps. Raf helps her to her feet as she resists the urge to cry out in pain. He holds on to her as she leans into him. Suddenly the faint sound of a phone vibrating is heard. Melissa reaches down in her pocket and pulls out her cell.
“It’s Scott,” She says when looks the screen. She hits the “accept call” button and places her phone to her ear.
“Mom! Are you alright? Lydia just told me people were dying….”
“I’m fine, Scott. Your dad’s fine too. You don’t have to worry about us.”
“I’m heading to the hospital right now.”
“No, stay where you are. You’re not needed here.”
“I said no, Scott!”
Scott doesn’t respond, most likely surprised by the aggressiveness of his mother’s tone. Melissa’s face softens as she speaks into the phone again.
“I’m sorry, Sweetie, but its best you stay away. I love you.”
“I love you too, Mom.”
Melissa gave her son a quick goodbye before hanging up the phone. Raf eyed her warily.
“He’s not coming here, right?” he asked.
Melissa stared at her phone sadly.
“I hope not.”
Raf opens the elevator doors once again. The hallway is lined with dead bodies and the screams of the wounded echoes the halls.
“I'm gonna get you out of here, okay.” Raf assures his ex-wife before leading her out of the elevator.