Fic: A Wolf's Burden
Characters:Scott McCall, Stiles Stilinski, a bunch of oc's, and some mentions of Derek Hale, Chris Argent, and pretty much most of the tw cast
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters.
Warnings:Character suffering from PTSD, depression,and alienation from normal life
Summary: After the War with Monroe came to a stand still, Scott tries to go back to school and lead a normal life. Fate unfortunately doesn't make things that easy, as the secret of the supernatural is revealed worldwide
Series: part one of 'An alpha never walks alone'
Scott stared up at the sky as he listened to Stiles’ heartbeat. At the sound of his friend’s voice. “Everything is going to be just fine. Chris will get here any minute. We’ll get you taken care of. Please Scott, just stay with me. Stay with me.” Scott’s eyes were still unfocused, as he lay down on the rough wooden remnants of the broken Nemeton, his legs pulled up. It was hard to keep his eyes open, hard not to give in and let himself fade. Stiles held his hand, coming close to crushing it.
Scott shivered as his blood soaked into the Nemeton. He was cold, his body pushing all its energy into healing his wound. He could feel something growling inside of him, a leash fraying. Stiles took off his own coat and laid it out over him. Scott wanted to tell him that he didn’t have to. But Stiles wasn’t listening. He was still talking, “They’d better be grateful”, he said, “we saved the world”.
Scott’s hand moved to his chest, the wound was already closing, he could feel it knitting together, one bloodvessel at a time. The healing hurt almost worse than the original pain itself.
“What were they like?” Stiles asked.
“They were beautiful.” Scott whispered, remembering the awe he’d felt in their presence.
A wolf howled. He wasn’t sure if it was out in the woods or inside his head. And for a moment he didn’t care. All he could do was mourn for what had been lost.
Scott stretched his neck, feeling phantom aches as his muscles shivered under the weight of the full moon. He hated going to parties. They were too crowded, too noisy to be comfortable, let alone fun. Far too many sweaty bodies, people’s breaths stinking of booze. They reminded him of skulking through nightclubs, knowing he had a hunter on his tail as he led them away from another wolf. Getting the hunters to an alleyway, so he could knock them out.
“McCall? He’s just a tightwad. The guy wouldn’t know what fun was, if it slapped him in the face and called him baby.” Scott wasn’t even sure who the guy who said it was. Just one in a long line of nameless faces.
Scott had heard comments like that a few times over the past month. He couldn’t deny it was true. He shivered as he left the wall and headed up to the punch. Every step to the middle of the floor made him hesitate with no one around to watch his back. The building they were in was old, the floors covered with rugs, wind pushing at the window.
It was getting hard to breathe and he opened a window. Staring outside, up at the sky, and the moon behind it. It had been a mistake to accept the invitation. But his Mom had called that morning, asking if he was having fun. Telling her he was going to a party that night had been a spur of the moment decision to keep her from worrying. It was a mistake he’d regretted the moment he’d arrived.
The music was loud, the beat punching on his ears, people shouting at one another, trying to be heard. He stared at his hands, desperate to make sure they weren’t shifting.
“Scott?” he turned around, staring at the kid standing behind him. Chad. Your typical frat boy wannabe, lived about two doors away from Scott in the dorm. “Are you alright?” Scott pushed in his emotions, taking a deep breath.
“I’m fine, I just… I just need some air.” Chad was staring at him, probably wondering if Scott was on something. Scott forced himself to smile at the kid. He couldn’t possibly understand. “I’m fine, thanks. I think I had a bit too much punch.”
“But there isn’t even any booze in the punch?” He heard Chad say as he was leaving.
Scott ignored him, staring out the door as he grabbed his bike. Taking another breath, his heart reaching out for his pack, to let them steady his pulse, anchor him in the here and now. But they weren’t there, were they? They were miles and miles away, spread out across the country.
He could go back to the dorm, find a couch to sleep on somewhere. He still couldn’t get a full night’s rest, unable to sleep in soft clean cheats, almost missing the stench of mold and other little leftovers of previous occupants that had come to mean brief comfort and safety during his life on the road.
He hadn’t tried out the ones on the fourth floor lounge yet. But as he stared up at the dorm, the glare of the moon made him want to look up and roar, almost as if he heard another wolf’s howl in the air. It couldn’t be real.
“Kid?” Scott stared at the men coming up at him. Campus police. He took off his helmet, shivering in the thin air, the scent of squirrels in the air. He could almost hear them teasing him: “come hunt me”, their squeaks whispered to his wolf. “’I’m here, no I’m here, fooled you, I’m here now.” It confused him, annoyed him, made him lick his lips in a moment of eagerness to feel their blood on his teeth.
“I’m fine.” He repeated. “Just need some air.”
“Best be careful on the road, kid.” Scott stared at the man’s name tag. W. Layton.
The road better take care with him.
His heart raged. He ignored it.
Instead, he put his helmet back on, and got on the road. For all the claims of UC Davis being located in the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by green, it had taken Scott weeks before he’d found a stretch of woods large enough for him to have a decent run. Somewhere that he could run and keep going without accidentally bumping into some hikers, or some poor idiot on a late night jog. He’d had to travel half an hour, just to find the one he did.
It was at times like these that he missed the Preserve back home, let alone some of the vast woods he’d travelled through in the past year.
Scott drove his bike to the edge of the Yolo bypass, parking it and locking it, instead of just throwing it down on the asphalt as his instincts told him to do, to just get rid of it. Get rid of all of it, of humanity and its stench. The moon beat an endless staccato, telling him to run, to hunt to kill, until he’d given in to his body’s demand for a run just to hold back the urge to maim and destroy. His boots caked with dirt, his socks soaked from running in wet soil.
He’d started off on two feet, running in between what few trees there were, moving onto all fours, avoiding the path, the scent of any humans in the area. Watching the world through shades of red and noticing every squirrel, rabbit, and other little critter in the area as they ran off to hide, away from the predator in their domain.
He followed the river, put his head in the water and took a sip, before he raised his head to the sky as he roared in warning. Startling up as something responded to him. He ignored, it, he had to imagine the response. There was no one out there to respond. Instead he ran again, as if he could get out of his head, and find himself if he just ran long enough, far enough.
Until finally he’d dropped down, and lay on the ground, staring up at the moon as it faded into the sky.
By the time he woke back up, it was morning. The sun rose at the edge of the horizon. He shivered in his wet clothes and rushed across the grounds. Almost running into the same campus officer he’d ran into the night before. The man was yawning and clearly heading back to his bed. Scott apologized and continued on. Using his ID card to get into the building, as he dripped water all over the floor.
“Scott?” His heart skipped a beat at the sound of his name. A dark face looked up at him from between the sheets of the bed on the other side of the room.
“Go back to sleep, Steve.”
His roommate yawned and turned over, his eyes still half closed. “So who was the lucky girl this night?” Scott startled up. “Or guy, not judging.”
Steve thought he was sleeping around campus. Who could blame the kid? It’s not like Scott ever slept in his own bed for more than two nights in a row. He wished it was that easy though.
“Go back to sleep. Your first class isn’t for another four hours.”
Steve didn’t even bother to ask how Scott knew his schedule, he just turned back and closed his eyes. Scott waited for the boy’s heartbeat to settle down and fall back to sleep.
He sank down against the closet door, shivering in the still drenched shirt, feeling a puddle forming underneath him. He wanted to just stay put and fall asleep, but he couldn’t, not with the sound of human heartbeats surrounding him, not with the moon still itching underneath his skin.
So he pulled off his shirt and pants, dropped them in the laundry bag his mom had gotten him when he left for school, picked up one of those soft fluffy towels she’d pushed in his carryall and moved to the showers. He let the hot water sink on his skin until he sorted himself back into his human skin. Half the things his Mom had bought him, he had no idea what to do with. They smelled too sterile, lacking that vague remnant of hundreds of people who’d used things before him, like the ones he’d found on the road.
He’d never realized just how much of a safety valve the Preserve back home at been or how much freedom it had given the pack. The chance to be themselves, even for precious moments. Classes were always especially hard the day after a full moon. They’d always been; sitting there, quietly, when his body felt wrong, like a chain holding him down.
He sent his Mom a quick message before class started, and turned off his phone. Professor Kelly hated even the sound of a phone on silent. It was like he could sense it from the front of the room, and would find you and stare at you, till guilt made you want to run for your life. It didn’t matter to him just how important a call might be.
The class slowly filled up, and he was barely able to find a place to put his bag and laptop. As the teacher started on about carbon molecules, Scott tried to let himself sink into the subject. It was obvious that Kelly was fascinated by his subject and probably knew more about the difference between organic and synthetic molecules than anyone else Scott had ever met. It was also pretty clear to Scott that no matter how many AP classes he’d taken in high school, that he was going to have to put in some more time in lab, if he wanted to keep up with it.
He loved this class. Normally the two hours it took were over before he knew it,. But not today, today he sat there, the teacher’s words flowing over him, and he was barely able to keep up with his notes. It wasn’t that it was boring, it was that part of him simply refused to let it sink in, as if carbon, oxygen and nitrogen molecules were battling it out in his brain and he almost missed the point where the teacher cut down his presentation and gave them leave to get out of his classroom.
He was itching as he left the building, its cold sterile air coming out of the air vents felt heavy on his skin. He stretched his fingers, holding in his claws. Forcing himself to smile back at people as they called out to him. Being dour and broody got you noticed.
He felt a lot better as he finally managed to get outside to the quad. He put down his bag and sat down on the grass, stretching his legs on the dirt, feeling the earth underneath him. It was tamed, like he was. The scents too sterile to feel right.
There were just too many people, not just around him, but in the buildings surrounding him. His senses still too much on point. He was trying to block them out when he heard the first whispers. He tried to block them out, ignore them as he did everything else that kept bothering him.
He was twenty going on forty and both far too young and old at the same time. He flinched against the harshness of the sunlight, almost scared of looking back at his shadow and what it might betray.
Someone said the word ‘werewolf’. Probably some new video game, or book, he didn’t really keep track of things like that, hadn’t in years. Not even before horror became a part of his daily life. Stiles used to love movies like that, not just the classics, but the bad ones as well. In fact, if Stiles were to be believed, the corny ones were the best ones.
They stopped saying that around the time that Peter attacked them at school, when they saw the janitor, or what was left of him. Gore stopped being funny after that.
“Still can’t believe it.”
He clicked his earphones into his laptop, and turned on his recording of the professor’s lecture. Anything to wash out the background noise as he forced himself to focus on his books. Scents wafted his way, food, books, too much Axe in the air for it to be comfortable for anyone. He released a breath, anything that could work to relax his nerves.
He flinched as someone dropped a bunch of books, startled up at the sound of someone’s engine starting up
Hard not to wait for the next attack, the next ambush, the next massacre that would happen if he came in even a second late. He’d been so tired of leading a war, tired of the endless back and forth between hunters and prey, switching roles in every attack. When they’d finally defeated Monroe, Scott had been strung out, unsure if he was even human anymore, more wolf than man.
“Did you see it?”
Kids around him were busy with their phones, huddling together in small circles. Scott didn’t join them. He felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, back to being that asthmatic loner who’d been nothing but Stiles’ friend. And Stiles wasn’t here with him.
But Mom had wanted him to be a kid. So he’d let Chris handle the paperwork. Get him into school, arrange his dorm; all Scott had dared ask for not to get the dorm nearest to the cow pastures. Chris had rolled his eyes at that, and told him he wouldn’t put a human through that, let alone a werewolf.
Scott collected his books from the grass, and heard someone say, “How did they get those effects?”
An unease settled in his back.
Something was off, the entire campus was buzzing.
He’d leant into Stiles on the flight to Germany. Stiles could have complained, but he didn’t. He pulled up his arm rest instead, and let Scott put his head on his shoulder, their knees touching. Scott had allowed himself to think that Stiles might have missed him as much as Scott had missed Stiles. Sometimes he even believed it. It was easier to sleep like this, to hear his brother’s heartbeat right next to his where it belonged.
Stiles didn’t let it stop him from talking, too excited to be quiet. That helped even more. Stiles had done the research, so had Scott, but he knew it helped Stiles to go through it, and let them both know what he’d found out. Scott shivered as Stiles moved. But they never broke touch. Not even as he dozed off.
“How did they get those effects?” The crowd was closing down on him, and for a moment he wanted to jump into a run, as if a threat was happening and he was only half aware of it. He’d been jumpy since he’d arrived. The place was too … normal, to quiet, even in its noisiness.
“Was that real?”
He took off his headphones, pulled them out of his laptop and pushed them into his pocket, feeling them sink down.
“It can’t be. Has to be some kind of prank.”
He checked his phone. If it was some kind of viral video, Stiles probably would have sent it to him by now.
Right now there were about fifty messages waiting for him. Which, even from Stiles, was a bit excessive.
The last one was marked: ”Scott pick up your damn phone” He did, fumbling with the thing, almost dropping it as he pressed Stiles number, his throat choking up on him..
Stiles had drank too much. He’d had three pints of beer, maybe four, and Scott knew he should have cut him off after the second. European beer was nothing like the much tamer American version. But they’d been moving from club to club. Pretending to be something they weren’t, just kids out for the night. This one wasn’t the one they’d been after either. Scott stared at the dance floor as Stiles made a fool of himself. The people around him didn’t seem to care. Scott touched his own glass. Someone sent him another, he nodded in appreciation.
Ten minutes later he had an invite to a special club.
Twenty minutes later they were out of the club, Stiles leaning into him to keep standing. “Please tell me you’ve got your phone on you.” He mumbled.
“So we can tell Derek his leads suck.”
“We can’t do that.”
“Yes we can, this is like the fourth club in a week, and nada, bupkiss. No hunters, no nothing. And I…” Stiles stopped for a moment, Scott had to hold him up. “I can’t stay for more than a month, Scottie. What’ll happen when I leave, and you still haven’t found anything?”
“Then we’ll keep looking. Or Ethan and Jackson’ll take over.”
“Oh God, not those two. They’d be so busy sucking face, a bunch of hunters could surround them and they wouldn’t notice till the bullets started flying.”
“Ethan wouldn’t let that happen.”
“Yeah right, all distracted by Jackson’s ass? Have you seen that ass?”
“Stiles, you’re drunk.”
“Am not, you’re drunk, drunkity drunk. Stupid werewolf can’t get drunk, can ya.”
“You’ve got to go back to school, Stiles.”
“Why? I can help here.”
“People are already looking suspicious whenever my Dad tries to get information for us. If you got into the bureau, you could get the kind of clearance we need. Not just to help protect the pack, but to help all wolves. You could be our ace in the hole.”
“I can fight.”
“Well duh. Bro, we have fighters. What we need is brains, your brains, and what you could do over at Quantico. That’s something that no one else in the Pack can do.”
“You’re my brother.”
Scott had rolled his eyes at Stiles’ words.
“Is that even in question? I love you, I need you. And I need you to be in Quantico. I need you to study up and help us get the kind of information we can’t get through hacking, or talking to informants. I need you to be the one who figures it out. Can you do that for me?”
Stiles stared at him, as if trying to find the lie. And it wasn’t there. Every word of it had been true. It just wasn’t the entire truth. But if Scott told Stiles that he was the one person Scott couldn’t afford to lose, then Stiles would refuse. He’d put himself in danger a thousand times over, thinking that was the only way he could be useful, and Scott couldn’t handle that, not with Stiles. And if Stiles ever found out, well, it was a he lie he’d be able to live with. After all, shouldn’t some part of Stiles already know?
“Stiles, what’s going on?” He could hear his friend’s heartbeat racing through the phone. Was Stiles about to get a panic attack, was there anything he could do over the phone? He tried to ignore just how constricted his own chest felt.
“Did you see the videos?”
He went back to the previous messages and moved up to the first one. Starting it up. It was two guys getting in an argument on street, just words, but with both sides getting more and more agitated, and then one of the two wolfed out. People started screaming, the guy filming kept saying “oh my God” over and over again.
And Scott stared at the image, at the man who tore into the downed man on the ground, slashing into him, before he turned around at the crowd with deep blue eyes and roared.