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Empty (and loving you won't fill that part of me)

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Jackson doesn’t break up with Lydia for himself, he does it for Stiles.

He does it so horribly that, even if he ever wanted to get back with Lydia, she’d be too angry to forgive him and take him back. He does it so Stiles can have a shot with the girl he loves – the one he’s always loved. He does it so he doesn’t feel like such a dick for being with Lydia just because she’d make an excellent trophy wife. Lydia deserves more than that. Stiles can give her more than that, more than what Jackson is willing to give.

So Jackson figures, in a way, it’s for Lydia, too.

Jackson does it for Danny as well.  It’s done so his best friend can have more support when he feels rejected or breaks up with another boyfriend. (Jackson keeps telling Danny all they want him for is sex, but he keeps refusing to believe it. Danny’s hot and he needs to realize that.) He does it so he can spend more time just hanging out with Danny, helping him with schoolwork or lacrosse, or whatever best friends need.

He does it so that Scott won’t be torn anymore; his best friend finally being involved in his own love affair (and Lydia requires a lot of attention). Scott won’t have to feel guilty about constantly being with or talking about Allison since Stiles will have his own significant other.

He does it so that when he asks for the bite and it doesn’t take – not if, but when it fails – Derek won’t have to feel bad about having basically assisted in a teenager’s suicide. He does it so when it fails – and he’s certain it will – his heart giving out will be more than enough proof that he’s a failure as a human being. It would prove that his body couldn’t even give him this one, simple thing because he’s not made to be anything more than ordinary.

 

Average.

 

Unremarkable and easily forgotten.

 

He does it so that when the bite kills him, instead of cleansing him, no-one will have to be around to (pretend to) grieve the loss of a dear friend, boyfriend, classmate. He will have severed all those ties already.

He does it so if the bite does take, by some miracle, he can have time to practice – when he’s not with Danny – controlling it and using it to make his life just a smidgen better. And so he can feel like more than just some replacement son to a man with a broken heart.

 

----

 

His adoptive mother is beautiful and caring. She’s exactly the type of person you’d expect to see in movies – a real Hollywood sweetheart. She’s always bright and happy, friendly, taking care of others and not worrying about herself. She’s…a lot like Stiles, actually, Jackson realizes.

Jackson’s father is a nice man, but he’s damaged inside. He tries to be a good father – and is most of the time – but sometimes his grief comes over him, drowns out the kindness he has, and makes him hide away with a bottle of scotch until the feeling passes (or he passes out).

Stiles must understand that – being a son to a father with similar sadness, and the same crippling addiction.

Their son had died – an accident, just like Stiles’s mother – and Jackson’s father had taken it as a sign. He thought he’d been greedy to only want someone who shared his bloodline; that he was meant to save a child instead of bring another into the world.

Jackson’s mother was healthy, still young enough to bear as many children as it would take for her husband to recover, but he refused. He absolutely wanted to help a child.

And Jackson will always be grateful that she agreed because he ended up being that child; the light that would brighten his father’s perpetually dark tunnel.

If only Jackson could find one of his own to guide him down increasingly somber paths.

 

----

 

Jackson wakes in his shredded clothes. They’re stained with blood – his own – with the dirt from Derek’s basement clinging to the fabric and any place his skin is uncovered. His head is throbbing, pulsating with a bone-deep ache that he knows will eventually fade – if he’s awake then the bite inevitably took – but he’s feeling great otherwise.

The first thought into his head is what is that smell? When Jackson sniffs around, crawling on all fours in the damp basement, seeking it out, he finds nothing. His second thought isn’t a thought at all. It’s a physiological response to the amount of time he’s spent bleeding out and being remade in the Hale house (more like Hell house).

He’s hungry.

Jackson’s just about to try to stand up on his wobbly legs when the sound of quickly approaching footsteps startles him. It doesn’t take but a moment for him to realize that it’s the source of the smell from earlier.

“Hey, you’re up! Good.” Stiles beams at Jackson, leaning against the upstairs doorframe.

Jackson turns around to check if Scott or Lydia, or even Danny, is standing behind him, but there’s no-one else. Stiles is smiling at him. “Uh,” he mutters out dumbly.

Stiles starts going down the stairs. “I guess it messes with your throat, too. Sounds like you’ve been smoking like a chimney, dude.”

Jackson narrows his eyes. “Why are you here?”

“Derek had to go out. He told me what happened. I decided to check up on you and make sure everything was okay. He didn’t seem to mind either way..” Stiles trails off when he realizes what he just said. “Not that I’m saying he doesn’t care whether you live or die—”

“He doesn’t care. I already know that. That was the point,” Jackson grumbles, flexing his fingers then balling them up. He’s said too much already.

“I care,” Stiles whispers, audible only to werewolf ears. He probably forgot that Jackson can hear it already.

Stiles steps down the rest of the stairs. He stops right in front of Jackson, and the smell surrounds Jackson like a blanket, like a warm fire, like ten thousand candles being lit at once. It makes it hard for Jackson to breathe with how potent it is.

“So, you up for some breakfast? Or lunch. Or we could combine the two and have an amazing brunch. I am starved.” He smiles again, and Jackson has to look away from the sincerity of it mixed with the intensity of the smell.

“I guess,” Jackson grits out.

“Good, ‘cause I already bought us some.” Stiles scurries away, taking the stairs two-by-two. “I wasn’t joking when I said I was starving. If you’re not up in five minutes, I can’t guarantee there’ll be any left for you.” He grins and disappears into the hall.

Jackson takes in a deep breath. Things didn’t go exactly as he planned, but maybe he could make the best of this situation. Maybe being a werewolf could fill the emptiness in his heart – even if only for a little while. He owes it to his parents and Danny to try.

The fading odour flows into Jackson’s nostrils, and it’s almost more alluring than the smell of sausages and hash browns. And then he remembers who it belongs to: Stiles. Jackson shivers, covering his nose with his hand.

Stiles’s head pops back in. “You coming? I can only wait so long, plus it’s getting cold. Microwaved breakfast tastes awful. Trust me, my dad tried many times.”

“Shut up, Stilinski,” Jackson snaps, already feeling more like himself. He drags a hand through his sweaty, dirty hair and frowns.

Stiles smiles, lopsided and dorky. He gets it. “Don’t worry about putting on makeup, Jacks, if that’s what’s taking you. You’re already a pretty princess.” Stiles disappears again, laughing as he goes.

Jackson scoffs, smiling in spite of the comment. “You better leave me some or I’m going to rip out your intestines and take it all back,” he calls, rushing toward the staircase.

Yeah, this could work for a while. Maybe the wolf in him could help find the light he craves.