When I Wake Up [Tentative Title]
Chapter 1 : Part I
It was mid-morning on a sunny day in July and Stiles was on his knees in the burnt hull of the Hale house. It sounded sexier than it was in actuality, because he was in a particularly charred room, one he wasn’t sure was structurally sound enough to hold his weight, looking for the charm off his mother’s lucky pendant. It was just a penny, a penny shiny and worn from her fingers worrying at it, a penny she had picked up as a joke the day she met his father and had kept, made into a necklace, and kept next to her heart until the day she died.
The delicate chain had snapped when it got caught in the strap of his bookbag, and he had heard it let go, not reacting quickly enough to grab the penny as it tumbled to the floor and skittered beneath the closed-off doorway to one of the rooms Derek had cordoned off as unsafe.
There were some things Stiles cared about more than his safety.
The floorboard were creaking ominously beneath his knees, residual soot coating his fingers from the charred floorboards. He remembered, vaguely, some advice about distributing weight from a movie he watched once with thin ice, and he thought that might be something he should do. He could see the penny in front of him, gleaming copper amidst the black, and he spread out on his stomach, inching towards it.
The fingers of his right hand just closed over it and relief was coursing through him, when he spotted something else shining between two floorboards a few inches to his left, directly in the path of the bright morning sun. He rolled over, his clothing already streaked with ash, so what was a little more damage? His hand closed around the object, and he tugged it carefully forward, pulling it out of a splintered hole in the floor.
Stiles cradled it in his hand, baffled. It looked like a half-charred talisman of some kind, half burned away but the metal bits still gleaming, almost vibrating in his hand with a spark that felt hot to the touch, probably from the sun hitting against it.
He just finished closing his left hand completely around it when the floor let go beneath him.
Stiles woke up in Beacon Hills.
That wasn’t right. Stiles woke up on a park bench in the middle of the downtown Memorial Park beneath the pigeon-crap covered statue of James Beacon, Beacon Hill’s founder and upstanding citizen, rumoured to have murdered an entire camp of his fellow gold prospectors in order to keep the major vein he found to himself. Stiles always thought it was karma that he then spent the next a hundred and fifty some years being shat on.
He awoke sitting directly across from his father.
Stiles’ heart leapt in his throat, a heavy blanket of panic settling in his lungs as he watched his dad eat lunch on the same bench he had eaten lunch on every summer since Stiles was four. Sometimes his mother would bring him downtown with a picnic basket and they would sit in the sun beneath the shade of James Beacon’s huge head in his prospector’s hat.
He was dead. It had to be that, it could only be that. One moment he was falling through the floor of the Hale house and the next he was sitting across from his dad in the park, the day almost idyllic with the sun high in the sky and the birds chirping from the trees above James Beacon, and the scent of freshly cut grass on the air.
He was dead and someone would call his father to tell him any minute now.
Fear clawed at Stiles’ throat, powerful enough that he ended up choking down air as he tried to breathe. He stumbled to his feet.
“Hey! Watch it!” a lady said, swerving as she was forced to jog around him.
Suddenly he could breathe, air rushing into his lungs in deep gulps as he panted, hands braced on his knees. He wasn’t dead. He had felt her brush his arm, and she had glowered at him with the contact. He was flesh and blood, then.
And then his dad was frowning up at him. “Are you ok, kid?” he asked, concerned, like he did every time Stiles took a panic attack.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he answered, confused. Was the Hale house a dream?
“My son gets panic attacks,” his dad offered, frowning at him. “I recognise the signs.”
“I…”His father didn’t recognise him. What? Why didn’t his own father, his own flesh and blood, recognise him?
He was interrupted by the familiar sound of Motorola’s Hello Moto ring tone, and Stiles looked around in confusion because he hadn’t heard that for years.
It was coming from his dad. “Sorry, I have to take this. A deputy’s duties are never done. Excuse me,” and then he was getting up off the bench and answering his RAZR, a phone Stiles had last seen when it fell into the lake on a fishing trip the summer of 2007. Good riddance too, as far as Stiles was concerned, because his dad hung on to technology far beyond its best-before date.
Then he realized. “What the hell,” he whispered to the empty park, turning around and taking in his surroundings.
But that wasn’t actually the question, was it?
When the hell? was more like it.
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- things-with-teeth said: Nyargh, yes, good, more. Uhm, I mean, this is lovely and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.
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