Derek Hale was running late to work. It wasn't his fault. His stupid sister Laura decided to go grocery shopping at the wrong time on the wrong day. There was a schedule for a reason and not just so Derek wouldn't be late for work. Of course, if his car wasn't in the shop for repairs, it wouldn't matter. Peter and Laura kept trying to convince him to get a new car and he was tempted, but the Camaro had been Dad's and it had survived the fire. He couldn't just let it go and yeah, the symbolism wasn't lost on him.
He was doing better than he thought he should be. Not nearly as well as Peter and Laura thought he should be, but truth be told, they weren't doing all that great either. The grief was mostly a dull ache for all of them, but it never took much to stoke the flames. It was impossible for Derek to think of grief in any other way than fire. He'd even planned on becoming a fire fighter the first year or so after the fire, but Laura had convinced him becoming a vet the way he'd always wanted would do more to honor the family.
Derek smiled fondly. His sister was the very definition of stubborn. He honestly didn't know where he and Peter would be if not for her. She was so much like their mother. That thought never hurt though. He was just so grateful he hadn't lost everything.
His cell phone was on the passenger seat and he wondered if he should call Dr. Deaton and let him know he was running late. Derek really didn't like talking on the phone while he was driving even to actual passengers, but he didn't want Dr. Deaton to worry.
Blue-green eyes slid over to the phone for a fraction of a second, then back to the road. An old blue jeep was suddenly just there on the road. It was moving slowly and definitely not in a straight line, so there wasn't any danger of an accident despite Derek's surprise.
Just as "where the hell did that come from" fully formed in his mind, the jeep made a sharp jerk to the right, going off the road and into one of the tall pine trees.
Derek slammed on his brakes and jerked the parking brake on, leaving the driver's door open as he ran to the jeep.
The driver looked like he was barely old enough to have his license. He was also pale and sweaty and there was blood all along his left side.
"Shit. Okay. My phone's in the car. I'll call 911 and we'll get you to the hospital. You'll be fine. It'll be okay."
"No. No hospital. Deaton. Deaton'll help."
"Deaton's a vet. You need a hospital."
The kid's right hand shot out, gripping Derek's left arm with surprising strength. Whisky colored eyes bore into Derek's with an intensity that was about more than the pain he was in.
"No hospital. They can't help. Deaton can. Please."
And that must have taken the last of the kid's strength because he was unconscious before he finished saying please.
Derek didn't hesitate. He unbuckled the kid's seat belt and pulled him carefully out of the jeep. Laying him flat, he quickly checked for injuries, finding only the bullet wound. He shrugged out of his leather jacket and stripped off his t-shirt. He ripped the shirt and tied one strip around the kid's arm as a tourniquet and the another around the wound itself.
He picked the stranger up and carried him to the car. Laura would kill him for getting blood all over her leather seats, but it wouldn't be the first time and she wouldn't want to let someone die to keep her car clean.
He still wanted to take the kid to the hospital, but he'd been so insistent and the vet clinic was closer. He supposed, if nothing else, Deaton could stabilize him and then they could call the EMTs.
He looked over that the kid as he started the car. Maybe.
Derek pulled around to the back of the clinic, getting the passenger side as close to the delivery area as he could.
He carried the wounded young man into the back examination room, laying him on the cold metal table.
"What? What's going on? Derek?"
Alan Deaton hurried into the room, shutting the door behind him as he saw a person on the table.
"Derek, what's going on?"
"I was coming into work and there was a jeep and a tree and he was bleeding and he didn't want to go to the hospital, but he said you'd help. So help him. Please."
Derek couldn't say why or when, but making sure the young man survived was very important to him. At least as important as keeping Laura and Peter safe. He really didn't like that truth be told.
"Get cleaned up and put on a shirt. I'll see what I can do."
With one last worried look at the kid, Derek went to the bathroom, grabbing an old t-shirt out of his locker as he went. The dried blood took more scrubbing to clean off than he'd thought it would. He kind of hoped that the blood was only on the leather seats. It would be hard to get out, but easier than the carpet. Oh, dammit. The seatbelt. Christ. How much would it cost to replace the seatbelt?
Pulling his shirt over his head, he entered the examination room and stopped short. Deaton had removed the kid's shirt and hello definition, but that wasn't what caused the stoppage. Deaton was burning some sort of flower, which while odd wasn't completely out there. Derek's mom had been a big fan of holistic medicine, so he knew some plants worked just as well and sometimes better than modern medicine. How burning a flower could help a gunshot wound was not a question Derek had an answer to though.
Once the flower had burned itself out, Deaton scooped the ashes into his hand and proceeded to place them into the wound itself.
Horrified, Derek couldn't help himself, asking "Alan?" as he stepped up to the table.
"It's all right, Derek. He was right. I'm the only one who could help him. He'll be fine now."
The whisky brown eyes fluttered open, not really focusing on much of anything, but settling on Derek's face nevertheless.
"Am I in heaven? 'Cause you must be an angel. Did it hurt when you fell?" The kid giggled, coughed and slid back into unconsciousness.
Derek looked at the kid's arm, reaching out without even realizing it.
The wound was gone.
There was still blood on his arm and along his side, but Derek couldn't tell where it had come from.
But there had been a hole in this kid's arm.
Derek had seen it, bandaged it. He'd watched Deaton put flower ashes inside it, but….
It wasn't there any more
"Come on, Derek. We have a lot to talk about and Stiles needs to rest," said Deaton, heading out to the break room.
"What the hell is a Stiles?"