(I got a bit carried away, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.)
Stiles moved through the dark forest, barely avoiding tripping over the obstacle course of roots and rocks in his path. The moon hung large and full in the sky, casting an eerie glow through the trees but granting very little light. He could barely see a few feet in front of his face, but he couldn’t stop moving forward.
There was blood dripping down his arm, but he was too adrenaline high to feel the painful wound the blood was coming from. He could barely move his left shoulder because of the arrow embedded in it. The forest was unnaturally silent, not even insects or animals were making noise. The only sounds he could hear was the pounding of his own heart.
Stiles stumbled over something and was unable to catch himself because of the limited movement of his shoulder. He fell to the ground with a loud groan, rolling to his side at the last moment to keep pressure off his injury. He lay there, his head swimming, not wanting to get up. Not wanting to move. He just wanted to rest. To close his eyes and sleep. To bury his head in the dirt and hide away until the world stopped being such a messed up place.
But he couldn’t stop. Not yet. He couldn’t rest. He had to keep going. He struggled to his feet, falling back to the ground twice before he managed some solid footing, and pushed on. There was a clearing up ahead, it couldn’t be too far now. Derek had said they would meet there once everything was over.
They’d had a plan. A flawless one. They’d worked and reworked the details until there was very little margin for error. But, somehow, things still had gone wrong. Very, very wrong. Nothing had gone right. Nothing had gone according to plan. Stiles didn’t understand how he’d screwed up so badly.
He could just make out the clearing. Stiles pushed himself to move faster. He had to find Derek. And Scott. Isaac. Erica. Jackson. Boyd. He needed to find the pack. He needed to know they were alive, unharmed, safe.
He stepped passed the final tree and entered the clearing. It was empty. It was empty. Stiles looked left and right, turned in a circle, and fell backwards onto his butt. The smell of earth and forest filled his nose, clouding his mind, but he continued looking, searching. Where was everyone? Where were they? Why weren’t they here? They were supposed to be here. They were supposed to be here and safe and alive and unharmed.
Tears stung at Stiles’ eyes and his heart pounded even harder in his chest. What if they were hurt? What if they were dead? What if they had all died because he’d screwed up so badly. His breath became short and a splitting pain shot through his head. They were all dead. They were all dead because he was an idiot. He couldn’t do anything right.
His body shook. Little trembles that would quickly grow into painful convulsions. Tears streaked down his face. He could see them. He could see all of them. He could see them pale and lifeless, painted red with their blood, eyes open and staring, skin cold and grey. Broken, dead things wearing the faces of his friends.
He curled in on himself. Fetal on the ground. Cradled by the earth. Alone in the forest. There was a feeling in his arms that meant he was helpless. He was hurting all over, but the pain he felt wasn’t physical. He felt weak and tired. Even making his lungs expand to draw air was more effort than he was willing to make. There was no reason to fight it now. He wanted to rest. He closed his eyes.
"Derek?” He raised his head off the cold earth and looked around. “Derek!” He called out again when he saw the man on the other side of the clearing. With a strength he didn’t know he had, Stiles pushed himself to his feet and stumbled towards Derek.
Three things happened at once. Derek screamed his name again and started running towards him, Stiles felt a wave of relief washed through him at the sight of the alpha, a pain exploded in Stiles chest and he was forced down to his knees.
Derek roared and bolted past Stiles. Stiles knelt there in disbelief, staring down at his chest. The metal tipped arrow had entered through his back and was now sticking out his front. He raised his hand and gingerly touched the skin around the wound. He just couldn’t understand what had happened.
“Stiles!” There were hands on him, touching him all over but not really touching him at all, as if their owner didn’t know what to do. The hands were red and sticky with blood. Derek’s eyes were wide and scared. His face was completely human and open. Stiles could see everything he was feeling right there on his face.
Stiles smiled softly, just a little twitch of his lips. “Derek,” he said. His hand shook as he raised it and pressed it against Derek’s cheek. Derek wasn’t scary anymore. He wasn’t the big bad alpha Stiles had known and loved. He was a frightened little boy who’s world had been turned on its side. Stiles almost felt bad for him, but he knew Derek was resilient. It would take some time, but he would move past this. Derek was strong. He would survive.
Stiles closed his eyes. He wanted to rest and now that Derek was here, he could. Derek would watch over him. He always did.