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Echoes in the Dark

By mythicaltunes

Drama / Thriller

I Came For Void Stiles

No, no, stop bleeding! Please stop bleeding!

Stiles could barely see, but he didn’t have to to know that his dad was dying. There was too much blood. It ran warmly over his long white fingers and trickled past onto the dusty cave floor.

“Dad, no, stay with me.” His voice was choked, breath coming in gasps, terrified tears stinging in his eyes. This couldn’t be happening now, not after what had just happened.

“I came back for Void Stiles.”

A small sob left his throat. He couldn’t stop hearing Theo’s words in his head.

“The nogitsune may be gone, but you still have more blood on your hands than anyone else.”

Blood. It was still coming from the wound in his dad’s abdomen. He didn’t know how deep or wide it was, or how it had been made. He just knew that it was killing him.

“God, I’m stupid!” Stiles suddenly shouted at himself. He brought his hands away and tore at his sweatshirt, yanking it off over his head. His scarlet-stained hands hurriedly pressed it to the gash, and one remained to hold it there while the other dug frantically around in his jean pockets for his cellphone. “Come on, come on!”

He wasn’t sure what kind of help he would get, not after what had happened at the sheriff station, with Parrish suddenly setting on fire and breaking out. It had just been one thing after another; his life was spiraling into chaos.

“Yes!” he breathed in relief, finally pulling the phone from his pocket. It nearly slipped from his grasp, but he clutched it tighter, shaking fingers having trouble locating the power button.

“I came back for Void Stiles.”

I’m not Void! he mentally yelled back at that voice. I’m trying to save a life, you asshole!

That’s what Theo was. He was a conniving, lying, narcissistic asshole. He was so manipulative, so clever, so self-assured and entitled. Stiles hated him. He hated him with everything he had. He had turned Scott against him, drawn Malia’s attention from him, and… this. He had done this to his dad.

He was briefly blinded by the white light that flashed from the screen as the phone turned on. It became smeared with crimson as he dialed the simplest numbers: 9-1-1. He had never thought that he would have to call it for his dad.

“9-1-1,” a female voice  on the other end of the phone came after two rings. It was interrupted by static. “What’s your emergency?”

“I-It’s my dad,” Stiles managed to get out. He just realized that he was crying, didn’t know when he had started. “Sheriff Stilinski. H-He’s dying. There’s blood everywhere.”

“Stiles?”

“Yes, it’s Stiles!” he couldn’t help snapping. “Ju-just please send help. He’s-” a sob interrupted his speech- “he’s bleeding everywhere.”

“I’ve tracked your ce -” static- “dispatching - right now.”

“Send an ambulance!” he shouted frantically into the phone. He didn’t want to lose the signal, but it was very likely seeing that he was in a cave.

“Where’s the wound?” The woman’s voice was clearer.

“Uh… his stomach. He’s lying on his back.”

“Is he conscious?”

“N-No, no he’s not. I found him like this.”

“You have a bad - catch that.” The static was interrupting the call again.

“He’s not conscious,” Stiles reiterated. “I-I found him like this. I’m in a cave. I think it used to b-be a coyote den.” He wasn’t crying so hard now, but the tears were still trailing down his face.

“Is he breathing?”

He frantically looked his dad over, but couldn’t see much, and ended up putting a bloody finger under his nose. It came in contact with an exhale and he felt relief pool in his stomach.

“Stiles?”

“Yes, sorry, he’s breathing.”

“Do you - it happ-”

“What?”

“Do you know how it happened?”

“No.” That was the only answer he would give on that subject. He had no idea what Theo had done to him.

He began to hear sirens in the distance and he stumbled to his feet. His legs felt weak.

“They’re coming. I have to make sure they see me. I gotta go.” Stiles didn’t wait for a response from the woman before ending the call. He shoved the phone in his pocket and glanced at his dad. He didn’t want to leave him, but he had to show his location.

“I’ll be right back, dad.” He knew that he couldn’t hear him, but it just felt better to tell him that.

Stiles sprinted from the cave on wobbly legs. The sirens were crescendoing and there were faint flashes of light through the trees.

He could hardly see and he kept tripping on sticks and patches of uneven ground, but he put the momentum of almost falling into his run, increasing his speed. It was like he was awkwardly throwing himself around the forest, desperately trying to reach the sound of the sirens. The lights grew brighter and the trees were starting to thin. He thought he could see the road.

Stiles waved his arms wildly over his head. He saw the ambulance, stark white against the dark, and the cop car pull up on what was definitely the road, the sirens turning off, but the lights still going.

“Hey!” he yelled as loud as he could, still running, still waving his arms like a maniac. “Hey, I’m over here! Hey!”

Two paramedics were hopping out of the back of the ambulance with a stretcher and the deputy, a man, jogged from his car to meet Stiles just by the edge of the road, flashlight in hand. Stiles hunched over a little, breathing heavily.

“Where is he?”

“This way, come one.”

He turned and took off again, slower this time as to allow the three people to follow him. The beam from the flashlight sometimes interrupted his path, but other than that, he was still in darkness.

“Over here!” he warned before ducking into the cave. The deputy followed him in and the paramedics arrived not ten seconds later.

“What happened?” the officer asked him as the paramedics quickly got to work setting his dad on the stretcher.

“I-I don’t know,” he gasped out, bending over with his hands on his knees, staining his jeans with red. “I found him like this.”

“What were you doing in the woods?”

“What?” Stiles wasn’t quite sure how to answer that one. Should he tell him about Theo?

No, that would lead to the chimeras and then to Donovan. But…

“What were you doing out here, Stiles?”

“Someone tipped me off,” he responded, deciding that he probably should say something about Theo. He didn’t have to mention the supernatural. It would be safer without him on the loose.

“Who?”

“Theo Raeken. Just moved here. He goes to Beacon Hills.”

“Is he a senior?”

Stiles watched as the paramedics strapped his dad tightly into the stretcher so that he wouldn’t fall off. They left the sweatshirt over the wound.

“Yeah.”

“Do you know him?”

“A bit.”

“How would he know about this? And why didn’t he call if he did?”

“I…” Stiles cleared his throat. “I think he did it.”

“Where did you last see him? Was there any blood on him?”

“I, uh… I think I was at the sheriff station, or… the school. I can’t remember,” Stiles said, scratching his head, forgetting that that would get blood in his hair. He really couldn’t remember. There had been a parking lot, Theo, rage.

“I came back for Void Stiles.”

“And?”

“I don’t think there was blood on him. He didn’t even tell me my dad was injured. He just said that I should check on him and vaguely told me where he was.”

“We’re ready to move him,” one of the paramedics called. “Officer, could you lead us out?”

The deputy nodded, leveled his flashlight, and swiveled around. He gently took Stiles’ arm to have him walk beside him.

The walk back to the road was slow and treacherous. There was lots of yelling of which direction to go in, or “don’t hit that rock,” “watch out for that log.” Stiles kept glancing back anxiously at his father, unconscious on the stretcher. Was he still breathing?

His throat ached as sobs built up and tears welled in his eyes again, but he remained completely silent and just took a deep, shuddering breath.

Finally, they reached the road, and Sheriff Stilinski was put into the back of the ambulance. Stiles asked if he could ride with him, but the deputy wanted him in the car. His right leg bounced up and down anxiously, fingers dancing on his thighs. The ride was quiet with tension.

“He’ll be alright, son,” the officer said after a few minutes, trying to be reassuring. The inside of the car lit up for a split second as another vehicle passed from the opposite direction. Then it was dark again, the only light coming from the digital clock on the dashboard. 10:02. How had so much time passed without his notice?

“Yeah, I really hope so.” Stiles’ voice was hoarse. He rubbed at his fingers where the blood was starting to darken and dry.

The deputy glanced over at him. “Don’t worry. You can clean yourself up at the station. You won’t be bothered. Everyone’s out looking for Parrish.”

Stiles didn’t say anything to this. He didn’t want to ask what he thought about the incident that had occurred a few hours ago. The supernatural was now in clear view right in front of their faces. Would they deny it, or would they try to delve deeper into it? It brought his frantic mind to worrying about his friends. Everything had erupted into complete chaos, but all he could think about was his dad. It wasn’t selfish, was it? He was the only real family he had left. He couldn’t lose him too, not like his mother.

An ache built up in his throat again and he wished he could wipe away the tears that brimmed over his eyelids, but that would get blood on his face.

“You have more blood on your hands than anyone else.”

Stiles weakly shook his head, then hung it down, a quiet, undignified whimper rising from his throat. He tried desperately to hold in a sob, but it hurt so much, and it escaped anyway. He took a deep, shuddering breath and then held it. He didn’t want to cry in front of this nameless man. He hadn’t bothered to look at his badge, and he hadn’t even offered his name.

There was an awkward pat on his shoulder. “He’ll be okay, Stiles. He’s in good hands.”

Another whimper. Stiles brought his hands up to cover his head without touching it, too aware of the crusting scarlet on his skin.

How does he know? How does Theo know about the nogitsune? How does he…? How could he possibly…?

Stiles wanted to kill him. He wanted to wrap his hands around his neck and twist, feel the bone break, hear that last gasp of breath before the light in his surprised eyes went out.

His lungs ached from holding his breath, and he gave himself some respite by releasing another sob. This one was a bit louder, made his shoulders shake a little. He breathed in deeply through his damp nose, then out through his mouth. He felt on the verge of a panic attack.

“We’re almost there, Stiles. Everything will be okay.”

“N-No…” was all he managed to utter. It wouldn’t be okay. His dad was no doubt at the hospital by now, a fatal wound in his abdomen. It seemed that Malia was on the verge of abandoning him. Kira had left. The Dread Doctors kept winning at every turn. Scott had been turned against him. And Theo. Theo had hit home, had voiced something that he never spoke about with anyone. He had only talked to Malia once about it, and then it was never mentioned again. Void was never talked about.

In a couple of minutes, the car slowed and then stopped. Stiles lifted his head, lowered his hands. They had stopped shaking. He got out of the car in a daze, barely registering his surroundings as the officer led him inside and to a bathroom. It was like reality was escaping him, because this couldn’t possibly be real. Why was all of this happening? Why now? He just wanted to graduate high school and live out “The Dream” with Scott. He wanted his best friend back. He wanted his brother.

The shaking resumed as he washed his hands with warm water under the faucet. There were few spots that were free of blood - even the tips of his sleeves were stained with it. Just so much. The soap lathered in light red and pink bubbles, and the color just kept spiraling down the drain. So much blood. Too much. He couldn’t comprehend that it was his dad’s blood. He was washing his dad’s blood off his hands.

Stiles suddenly felt like he was going to throw up, though there was nothing in his stomach to come up. Acid stung at his throat, but he made a face and swallowed it down, tried to take deep breaths. He couldn’t remember when he had eaten last. The night before, maybe? He definitely hadn’t eaten all day. He hadn’t been hungry. He definitely wasn’t now.

His pale skin was wrinkled like a prune by the time the blood was off his hands. He reached for paper towels to dry them, and caught a glimpse of his face in the mirror. Crimson outlined the curve of his right ear and trailed a little ways down his neck. It was stuck in his hair at odd angles.

Stiles violently tore off a large wad of paper towels, dried his hands a bit, and then began scrubbing fiercely at his ear. After many times of wetting the paper towel in the sink, the blood was finally gone. He tore off some more paper towels and tried his best to get it out of his hair. Once that was done, he scrubbed at the spots on his jeans and the ends of his sleeves. Then, for good measure, he washed his hands one more time.

“You have more blood on your hands than anyone else.”

Stiles gazed at his spotless skin. No more blood on his hands. Not literally anyway. Figuratively though…

Stop thinking about that! he admonished himself. Theo was just trying to rile you up! It doesn’t mean anything!

But it did mean something. It meant everything. Stiles had never felt the same as he had been before the nogitsune. He felt more angry, more aggressive, more… frightened. He was scared, terrified even, of this change. He wasn’t the same person he had been. He missed his old self desperately, tried reaching for it everyday, but each day just increased the struggle. It was like he was grasping at fragments of a half-remembered dream.

Stiles looked at himself for a long time in the mirror. Himself. It was him, wasn’t it?

“I came back for Void Stiles.”

A sharp knock on the door startled him out of his reverie. “Stiles, is everything alright in there?”

“Yeah, yeah.” He shook his head a little, then reached for the knob with hands that were free of blood, that were his. He stepped out to find the officer standing close by, holding a clipboard.

“Follow me, please. I have some more questions to ask you.”

Stiles just gave a curt nod of his head and followed the deputy through the mostly empty sheriff station. Only a few people remained, and the only sounds were their footsteps and the distant sound of an officer typing up a report.

It struck him later than it should have that this was the way to the interrogation room. Why was he being taken there instead of somewhere comfortable?

He didn’t mention this though, didn’t show any apprehension. He just let himself be led into the stark, gray room with a sheet of one-way glass on one wall.

“Sit.” The deputy pointed to the chair that was on the end of the table with the handcuffs, then closed the door. Stiles raised his eyebrows in question, but sat down anyway. He placed his hands on his knees, not wanting to touch the table or the handcuffs.

“Why am I in here?” he finally asked. His voice sounded too loud in the room.

“Because you are being arrested and charged for physical assault on Sheriff Stilinski. Now please hold your hands over the cuffs.”

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