Stiles looked into the mirror. The last couple of weeks have been chaotic but this last one had been a blur.
He picked his arms up to adjust the black tie hanging around his neck. The black tie was barely noticeable again his black shirt.
The whole world suddenly had a filter, the color and light of life seemingly gone. And maybe it was for good.
Scott and Kira had come over as soon as they had found out. When they had come over, they carefully thought of a way to tell him. They knew no matter what they said or how they said it, he would be destroyed. And they were right.
He hadn’t spoken about it. There was never a minute when he wasn’t thinking about it, he just couldn’t open up about it.
He went days without sleep. And when he finally crashed, he woke up to not find her there, then he came to the realization she would never be there again.
All of his life seemed as if it had lost meaning. He felt as he wandered aimlessly without her anchoring him.
He looked at himself in the mirror and saw the circles under his eyes deeper and darker than he could ever remember. His eyes still showed his hurt and looked washed over with sadness.
He stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled the two pieces of paper he had written, both wrinkly from always being with him and splotched with dried tears. One was for everyone and the other for her.
The house was uneasily quiet without her voice and devoid of happiness without her walking down the halls.
He barely picked his head up when he saw his dad come through the door, dressed in a dark suit. His father put a hand on his shoulder, knowing today was going to be especially hard for him.
“Ready to go?” he asked him.
Stiles turned to him and nodded. “Yeah, let’s go,” he said halfheartedly.
“I’m going to miss her too,” the sheriff told his son before they walked out. Some things were going to be different. They have been feeling different. Meals weren’t the same without her. He knew he wouldn’t come home to two happy kiddos anymore.
Stiles didn’t bother to reply. His answer was obvious, of course he would miss her as well.
“Does it get easier?” Stiles asked him after a couple of second. “Did it get easier when mom died?”
The sheriff thought about it. He wasn’t miserable all the time as he had been when she had died. But he tried to keep going for Stiles. “Yes,” he said, which wasn’t a total lie.
“Let’s go,” Stiles said, walking past him. He wasn’t sure if he believed it. What he felt was different than anything he had felt before.
In ten minutes they were there. They had come an hour early. He had to make sure everything was right for her. This would be everyone’s last memory of her.
He took a seat on the third row, distancing himself from the front. He inspected the area. Grass, it was a little overgrown but he liked it better that way, the flowers on the sides were the kind that grew next to her den. The breeze blew his hair out of his face and made the trees dance. The sky was cloudy, yet it refused to be sad, as it wasn’t completely dark.
No one knew why he was determined for the gathering to be in this spot. It wasn’t a general area like “in the woods”, it was specific. It had to be here.
This is where Stiles had first seen her.
He looked to the side to the area where their first encounter was. Scott had just turned her and they were on their way to meet the pack to decide what to do next. Stiles, having the same idea of meeting, tried to follow the trail of footprints and paws that had been racing only a couple of minutes before.
And when he first saw her, he automatically felt something. Protectiveness.
He had immediately offered to call his dad to take her home. And when he had come, he didn’t go with the rest of the pack to rest but insisted on going with his dad. He insisted of taking her to his house to get washed up, and found an old jacket of his dad’s to keep her warm.
On the way to her house, he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. He remembered looking at her through the mirror. And the feeling of anxiety, wanting to make sure she was welcomed to her house.
And he also remembered the way looking at her made his insides tie up. Her eyes that seemed so brown and big that he felt as if he was sinking into them every time he looked into them through the mirror. That was the first thing he noticed about her and what he realized about himself. Her eyes and that he liked that he got lost in them.
And when she finally had stepped on her porch and reunited with father, he could read again. And when they were driving back home, he knew this couldn’t be the last time he see her.
When her dad walked in, a couple minutes after they had, they shared a knowing look. Even after what had happened to his other daughter and wife, she was his daughter and it definitely pained him to see her go.
Mr. Tate felt a twitch inside of him at the sight of Stiles. He didn’t know him too well. Not like she had known the sheriff, but he knew her daughter and him were in love, with no hope of falling out of it, no matter how many times she dismissed the thought when he brought it up whilst rolling her eyes and smiling. He knew the feeling of loosing someone you love, your other half, and he found it upsetting he had to feel this pain so early in his life.
As more people trickled in, the ones who were there stood up to greet them and say their condolences, yet he just sat there, spiraling into memories.
He remembered the first time they kissed. Most people would have thought it wasn’t the ideal moment or place, but he honestly wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. They had pulled each other out of the hole of misery and chaos they were falling into.
They had been looking through records of the institution for what seemed like ages, until he had remembered the lines on his back. He asked her to check, she did, and he remembered her cold fingers barely coming into contact with his skin. Something inside of him made him reach for her hands. It was like when your soul knows something you don’t. He just wanted to make her feel warm and safe.
He should’ve kissed her, after all he was the one who was holding her hands. He looked at them, then at her eyes, and then at a pair of pink lips. But she did. And it was different than the time at the party, different than when it had been at school, and different than it was been at the rave. This time, with her, the thought of not having his lips on her seemed impossible.
The last time they kissed was at his house. It was two days before. She had to leave, and oh, he should have made her stay, and he pulled her back to bed while pressing his lips against hers. She did stay for a few more minutes just to spend a little more time with him.
Stiles snapped back to reality, when he felt a hand on his shoulder and moved his eyes to find his friends. He tried to form a small smile, to let them know he was okay, but his attempt was futile as his mouth barely moved.
They took their seats next to him, Stiles on the end, then Scott, Kira, Lydia, and Liam. All of them dressed in black and Kira and Lydia had puffy, red eyes.
He knew they were hurting just like he was, and was happy that they still reached to him, even when he tried to push them away.
“You okay?” Scott asked, looked for to him, his arm still on his back.
No. He felt like he could never be okay but he nodded anyway.
“It’ll be okay,” he said, knowing how hard this is. He had been through this before as well.
“You guys okay?” he asked his friends. Scott and Kira nodded, both of them too selfless to admit they were hurting. Liam moved his head “no” and Lydia’s body shook as she held back a sob.
They were interrupted when there was the sound of tapping in a microphone, signaling the beginning. Mr. Tate spoke a little bit, but Stiles wasn’t listening. Not because he didn’t care, but because his mind refused to leave memory lane.
The first time she had snuck into his room was two months after junior year started. Both of them spent more time with each other than they did with anyone else. It only made sense that they would miss each other during the night.
He guessed she had somehow gotten in the house and into his bed. He had bolted upright, about to scream because of another nightmare, but he got a sight of her. And the urge to scream, the frightening feeling went away.
And the rest of the night, he was definitely wide awake. But this time it was different. It wasn’t because he was afraid to sleep, afraid of what he could encounter in his nightmares, but he couldn’t keep his eyes off, even if it was just to sleep.
Her eyelashes fanned across her cheeks and her breaths were even. He knew she was sleeping calmly, her mind far from a nightmare, because her forehead wasn’t creased.
These were the days before they knew what to do when she did come over. So she laid on her back, her hair spread around her, reminding him of a halo. And he slept on his side, always turned to the window, awaiting the moment she opened it.
The last time she came over, she had gone to dinner with Kira and Lydia. She had gotten there late, but Stiles had been awake, watching a Star Wars movie.
The sound of his window sliding up had definitely become his favorite sound. When he heard it, his head went to her, smiling at her, ready to hear how the night had gone.
She had leaned over the bed to kiss him hello, before she went into the bathroom to wash up. When she came out, her face was free of make up and was now in a pair of pajama pants and a lacrosse t-shirt of Stiles’.
She had collapsed in the bed, tired from being out so late. She had laid next to him, turning her body to his, pressing herself to his side. Her head rested on his arm that held her and her face ended up in the crook of his neck and she closed her eyes, sleep coming to her easily.
The last bit of sunlight that shone regardless of the clouds was gone and the sky reflected the dark and stormy feeling that was inside of him. He knew he would have to get up soon to talk. Her really didn’t want to. He really didn’t want to let everyone see him break down. He really didn’t want to let her down by failing at his eulogy.
But her dad had asked him to. He had written his eulogy to her throughout the week. A new thought had always come to mind when he thought he was done. The one he had wrote to read to everyone else, he had written with Scott. He would come up with him in case he couldn’t make it through. But he was determined to.
He knew he had to get up now, but his whole body felt as if it was made out of lead. Trying to ignore the aching hole in his chest, he made his way to the podium, facing the rest of the people.
Kira and Lydia were taking their seats, as they had just been here, talking about the friendship they had created with her. Both of them had a couple of tears rolling down their cheeks, but they were wiped away quickly, ready to hear what Stiles had to say.
Mr. Tate stared at whoever was speaking now, trying to cling on to something before sadness consumed him. The sheriff nodded to his son, trying to send courage his way, knowing this was going to be harder for his son than it was for him. A couple other faces looked up to him and more were looking down, wiping tears off.
He wasn’t sure how to start. Beginning with his name sounded stupid, saying something like “We’ve gather to celebrate her memory,” sounded even more stupid.
As he walked up, people recognized him as the boy who had been left heartbroken.
He adjusted his microphone so it was closer to him.
He couldn’t tell them that her favorite place to be kissed was her nose, that she always set their alarm ten minutes early so they wound have time to mess around, that she secretly liked the way his hair looked after they had come out of the janitor’s closet at school, or that she would pepper his neck with chaste kisses every time they hugged.
This definitely wasn’t the place for that. Out of the things he could share, he really didn’t have anything that wasn’t obvious. Everyone knew that she was smart, she tried her best, that she found comfort in her friends; she was transparent and had nothing to hide.
“I was just going to share a story,” he said, adjusting the microphone once more, even though it had been in the correct spot before. “It’s about her seventeenth birthday,” he said.
He had debated what story he wanted to share. He thought about telling the story of when he realized he loved her, or an anniversary, or when they went to prom, or when they graduated. But then he realized he didn’t need to. He didn’t need to convince anyone that he loved her and that she loved him; everyone already knew.
“I had tutored Malia for a little bit,” he said, blinking away the sting he felt in his eyes, memories of them studying together flooding his brain.
“So she had been over and my dad knew who she was. That night, I had told my dad I wasn’t going to be home for dinner. I told him that I was going to surprise her,” he spoke slowly, knowing if he didn’t take a pause, he would start tearing up.
“It was her birthday, and I had asked her a week or two before what she was going to do. She said she would stay home or come over to watch a movie, but I wanted to do something else. My dad had been surprised. He kept teasing about how he couldn’t believe I had a girlfriend and I was going to take a girl out to dinner,” he stopped again, this time gripping the sides of the podium, trying to continue with his story.
“I had gone to pick her up. I had been so excited to get to her place and tell her the reason I had sent Lydia and Kira to her place to get her ready was because we were going to go out,” he said, remembering how he had drove past two red lights, racing to get to her house.
“I knocked on her door, and when she came out, all I remember is being speechless. She looked- she looked stunning,” he described, when he realized that he was staring above everyone’s heads, in the distance, as if he was narrating the very scene that was unraveling in horizon. When he brought his eyes back, he noticed eyes glossed with tears, waiting for him to continue.
“She looked amazing. I drove her to the place where I had made the reservation. We ate, walked to the ice cream parlor, and drove home,” he was very vague about it, because to some extent, he wanted to keep somethings to himself.
Yes, he wanted to tell to the world that he was very much in love and that those years had been the best in his life, but some things, such as their dates, he wanted to keep to himself. He guessed it was selfish, but he liked being the only one who knew that she would always cuddle into him at restaurants, that she would color the kids’ menu just because, and that they would always walk around after eating. Those things were for them to know.
Things he wanted to keep sacred by keeping them to himself were the way seeing her in a dress for the first time made his feel, how it felt when he came to the realization that this was his first proper date.
“But I’m not telling you this because I wanted to share where we went, why we went, or anything like that. I wanted to share this because she was the only girl that ever lived that could ever look so good without trying. The only human that could make me at ease. The only thing that made me smile and make me feel like everything was great by just looking at me,” he bit his lip as took a shaky breath, refusing to shed a tear.
And the people hearing him didn’t care about it, as tears streaked their faces. No one could fathom what this boy must be feeling. They way he talked about her had some
people in sobs and others with their eyes threatening to spill tears. He looked to Mr. Tate and saw him pressing his lips together, in gratitude, at this boy who loved his daughter so much. Then he looked at his dad, who had a similar expression on his face.
“I had been worried that we would’ve missed the reservation, that she wouldn’t like the place, or that she would’ve been upset because she said she didn’t want to do anything special. I had been worried that I would screw our first real date up,” he took another shaky breath to keep him going. “I didn’t. The waiters sang her a happy birthday, she had cake, and we drove home to see a movie,” he continued, remembering how pink her cheeks turned when the whole restaurant sang along and gave him the cutest smile. He also remembered she had eaten more of the chocolate cake than he thought was humanly possible. He remembered that she had kissed him in the car and thanked him for the night. He remembered she had fallen asleep in his arms halfway through the movie.
He looked down at his paper, and held it right in his hands, gripping it tighter since he couldn’t read it because of his shaking.
“I loved her,” he said, his hand immediately reaching to swipe a tear that had shed. “I didn’t tell her enough times. But she knew, she knows.”
After saying that he walked off ready for someone else to say something. He didn’t just love her. He was sure she was his first, last, one and only, real, true love.
Then he started remembering their last date. It was a month after their first day of college, two weeks before the incident. He was broke beyond words, to the point were he thought carefully before buying the one dollar bag of chips at the vending machine.
He, however, started saving money a month or two ago, because this would be their third anniversary. He took some lights their used for the outside of his home during Christmas, a blanket, food he had made after three attempts, and friends from the pack to help him set this up.
They drove to the preserve, found a nice place, and draped the lights over the branches, until it was the starriest night on earth.
The ceremony was over an hour ago. They had lowered her into the grave. Everyone had left and his dad and Mr. Tate had long since cleaned up. Now the sky was dark because of the clouds heavy with rain and because the sun was setting. He was alone now.
No one wanted to leave him alone, but he insisted. He wanted time to himself.
He had stood with his hands in his pockets, several feet away from her grave for two or three hours. So far, he was overwhelmed with so many feelings he had no idea what to do.
“I-I” he started when he broke down. His knees gave out and he collapsed on the ground, now looking as weak as he felt.
“I would do anything to have you back and it’s only been a week and two days,” he spoke aloud, his voice breaking as he spoke, meaning for her to hear it, wherever she was. He couldn’t being to imagine how he would have to live the rest of his life like this.
“I thought our thing was to never leave each other behind,” he said, not understanding why she had left him.
“I miss you so much,” he said, the water in his eyes making his vision blurry. He felt as if she had taken part of him with her. “I feel as if I have to convince myself this is worth it without you. It’s not.”
He had stayed that way, on his knees, still feet from the grave, until he stood up, and scooted closer to it.
“I haven’t slept, well not voluntarily. I just crash sometimes. I think I can’t sleep because I need you to,” he said, knowing it was because he needed her to fall asleep.
“I don’t have supernatural abilities to smell, but my place still smells of you. My bed, the couch, some of my hoodies and shirts you wore. It’s been awful quiet there, too. Dad’s always working and I don’t have anyone to keep me company.”
“We were going to lots of things, you know. I was going to take you everywhere. I was going to take you to Disney World next summer. I had asked Dad for a job and I was going to start tutoring to save up money for it. Then after college graduation, I had imagined a trip to France. A little extravagant for me but I always imagined kissing you in front of the Eiffel Tower.”
“I always thought we would do lots of things together. Like get an apartment. Or get a dog. I always thought we would get married and eventually have kids, too,” he said, staring at the ground. “I guess you shouldn’t get too attached, right?” he asked, laughing at himself. “I just thought you would always be there.”
“I never really thought about it, but I guess if I knew one of us would leave sooner, I would’ve guessed it was me. I probably would’ve gotten killed during a supernatural battle. But, in a way, a sick way that I don’t even understand, I would rather have it be this way. This hurts. It hurts like hell. I would’ve never wanted you to feel this way.”
“I’ve been wondering why you did what you did for a while. I wish you would’ve told me. We could have come up with a better plan and maybe it wouldn’t have worked out this way. Maybe, maybe, maybe.”
“I wasn’t there when you passed,” Stiles admitted, the hole in his chest quickly filling with guilt. “The doctors said you would wake up in a few hours. So I went home for a second. I was going to get Dad from his office, buy flowers for you, and be right back. Scott and Kira told me at the house,” he paused for a second, remembering the moment. “I should’ve been there,” he said softly.
He spent the entire night there, not talking the whole time, he had grown to tired to even do that.
After what seemed like a few minutes to him, it could’ve been hours, he spoke again.
“There’s lots of things I didn’t get to tell you. Like how you were my anchor when I was possessed. Or that I dreamt of you being with me when we fought. Or that I loved you more than what I thought was possible. I don’t think I ever told you that you that you were my first love either. I thought I had loved, but that never felt like what we had. I’d always hoped you’d be my last.”
“The last time I saw you was at the hospital. I hadn’t left you the whole time you were there. Except when I called victory too soon. You looked like you were sleeping. Just like it. If it weren’t for the bruises, I swear I would’ve thought you were. I was holding your hand and sometimes you would hold it tighter. I thought it was because you’d found the strength to wake up.”
“The last time I saw your eyes was the day I kissed you last. They’re my favorite thing about you, your eyes. They remind me of the first time I saw you.”
Will anything ever be enough for those toxic people? They got their “I love you” but they still need to hate on Malia and Stalia. Why do they need to try to degrade what stalia shared? They’re supposed to be getting their endgame. When is enough, enough?
Just freaking let the stalia shippers enjoy what we had. This right here is the reason us “antis” will never keep quiet about our hatred for srydia.