When Scott said "we’re all ok", Stiles knew the words were forced in the shroud of a half-truth. Allison was gone. Aiden was gone. And almost everyone died because of him. Malia was right when she said guilt made one feel sick to their stomach, since Stiles couldn’t find an appetite to ever eat again. Nothing would ever be the same, not without Allison, not with the hole in the heart of everyone within the pack. Even with the Nogitsune gone, that didn’t eradicate the nightmares permanently stained in Stiles’ mind. When he slept, he saw his hands stained with the blood of his loved ones. He saw the people he killed like a broken record. Their screams only increased in volume every night as he slipped into a realm of horror.
He woke up screaming as the sound of Lydia’s death sentence rang through his ears. His father came in and held him in a tight embrace with words of reassurance as Stiles calmed down, tears falling down his cheeks. “It’s all my fault…Scott’s first love, Lydia’s best friend,-“
"It’s not your fault, son." The sheriff said softly but firmly. "If anyone else were possessed by a demon fox spirit the same thing would have happened. You played no part in her death. The only one at fault is the Nogitsune, or whatever it’s called."
"No, that’s correct terminology." Stiles sniffed, his exhales coming out shaky. "I justwonder, if I was faster, if I could have better warned Scott, or if I was stronger and fought off the Nogitsune myself, maybe if I had more willpower, things…. things would have been different.”
"There’s nothing more you could have done. You’re only a human up against the supernatural…and you’ve done an exceptional job at keeping yourself and your friendsalive. I’m certain they’re just as grateful for you as I am.”
"No matter what I do, I can’t help but feel—AHH!" Stiles jerked away from his father when a pain shot through his shoulder. He pulled up his right sleeve to tear it off of dried blood and reveal a gnarly wound carving out the flesh of his bicep. He gasped, looking over at his father in awe.
"How did you get that??" John stood up from the bed and turned on the light so he could better inspect the injury.
Now that Stiles could properly see, the shape of the wound confirmed his suspicions. “Shit…shitshitshit-“
"What- is it infected? Let me go get a first aid kit-"
"No! Dad, that…that won’t be necessary." He could feel his heart pounding anxiously, and he almost forgot how to breathe. Stiles was oddly still, his eyes lost in a thousand yard stare.
"…Stiles? What is it? What’s wrong?"
He looked up at his father and released a painful sigh, his lips wavering as he tried to speak. “I-I must have not noticed it - because I was hurting everywhere.…” He took a sharp inhale, trying to figure out the best way to present the situation. His throat came out dry and the room was spinning threateningly fast. He had no idea how his dad would handle the news, let alone himself.
John sat back down on the bed close to his son. He gently held his right hand for support. “Stiles, talk to me.”
He sighed, the sound coming out defeated. He looked over at his dad, his warm eyes on the verge of shattering. “It’s…it’s a bite mark, dad. It’s…the same place Scott bit the Nogitsune.” He exhaled as if someone just punched him in the chest, the realization hitting him harder when he said it aloud. “And I can’t tell if it’s healing or if it’s killing me…because I’m still drained from…recent events…”
John’s face hardened and he almost looked angry, but Stiles knew he was trying not to cry. He saw the sorrow in the depths of his father’s eyes. He was being so strong for him, and Stiles felt his heartstrings painfully tug at how hard his dad tried to make his life better. Stiles wasn’t sure he could handle his father crying at this point in time. It would only break him.
"Okay." Was all John said. "Okay." He nodded curtly, then held both of his son’s hands as he looked him in the eyes. "Listen, we’re going to pull through this. You’re going to pull through this. If you become a werewolf, you’ve got Scott and Derek to help you through that, and if not, we’ll figure something out. There’s got to be some…supernatural cure to keep you from dying.”
Stiles barked a short laugh. His dad was so optimistic at times. “I don’t think there’s any supernatural cure for someone dying from a werewolf bite, dad. Maybe if you pump my veins with wolfsbane.” He shook his head. “No, it’s alright. I prepared myself for this to happen. I wasn’t sure if killing the Nogitsune would kill me too, and I wasn’t sure if biting the Nogitsune would change me too. Either way….I….I……” His words fell off into oblivion as he found himself staring into an immense darkness, his eyes vacant.
John pulled him into a hug, careful not to apply pressure to his wound, as silent tears fell down Stiles’ face as only one thought consumed his mind.
If the Nogitsune’s presence was killing me, I’m certain this will kill me too.