Derek's mysterious ailment has Stiles worried, so he brings in the big guns:
August 22, 2015
Derek Hale's Loft, Beacon Hills
- Scene directly follows the events of 2015.08.24 - Melissa McCall: Miracle-Worker--Or, Liam Needs a Favor.
[Phone] Stiles texts: Heads up. Coming to see you. Bringing Scott's mom. (to Derek Hale)
Stiles had ambushed Melissa right after work. In his defense, he tried to not make it a thing. He just wanted to ask a few questions about what it means when someone is listless and sleepy and doesn't seem to be themselves. Then it turned into one of those Stiles, you will take me to this person right this instant, or so help me... kind of things. And Stiles knew better than to argue. So, he'd driven Melissa here to see Derek. As they reach the elevator of Derek's building, he remembers (finally) to fire off a text. Then he hits the button, and the old lift rattles to life, carrying them upstairs.
Oh great, Derek thinks. It's not like he was expecting company. He could deal with Stiles coming alone, because no real expectations. But he's bringing Scott's mom?! Why would he think that was okay?!
Grumbling to himself, Derek goes to try and make himself more presentable, though he doesn't have time for even a quick rinse. So he changes his clothes, refreshes his deodorant, and washes his face. That'll just have to do.
Later, Stiles will receive the punishments. He'll think of something.
But when they do arrive, he seems to be at least okay, though he's very obviously not his usual assertive self. There's not quite the same feel of an aura, a presence, around him; he's still as formidable, looking at him, looking at the way his eyes steel and burn, but he's clearly going through some significant difficulty. Still, he's better now than he was the last time Stiles was here.
There's a bit of an awkward silence as both Melissa and Stiles are slowly lifted. This is one of those scenes where some Kenny G. will fill in the awkward gaps where words do not. They're both standing there, Melissa with her medical bag, looking worn but alert, and Stiles standing there likely looking anxious, as he does. Why the awkwardness? Well, Melissa has a question. And she has this look on her face like Stiles is probably not going to like it. Which probably drives Stiles down an inward spiral of paranoia, wherein he probably just wishes she'd say something already. So she does: "Stiles, you aren't taking me to see someone Scott would really prefer I not, are you?" Well, maybe not that bad.
But then, when they arrive, and Derek is clearly visible (and refreshed!) Melissa's mouth opens into an understanding, and possibly a bit incredulous, "Oh." Let Stiles read into that what he will. "Hello, Derek." Her tone is pleasant, but not precisely warm.
Stiles gives Melissa a scandalized look, but then he's saved by the bell (of the elevator), and he scrambles out, rushing over to Derek. He literally puts his hands on Derek's shoulders and looks him over as if searching for injuries. "You look a little better," he pronounces after a moment, but then he turns to Melissa with an expression of worried appeal. "He's been all... sick. He won't eat unless I feed him, and he just lies in bed all the time! I tried talking to Deaton, and... I did everything I could think of. But you always want to know what's going on and stuff, so... I hadda get him checked out by someone medical." From his tone, he clearly assumes that Melissa is the most qualified person for this and that she will know more than Deaton did. Kid's got faith, at least.
Derek sits there on his couch, looking over once the lift arrives and its passengers disembark, but giving Stiles a curious look. He frowns slightly, pursing his lips and setting his jaw. The look seems to ask, "what in the hell are you even doing?!"
When the boy has finished fussing, Derek just rises to his feet and turns to face Melissa entirely. "Sorry." There's an unspoken "you know how he gets" in the way he shrugs his shoulders, but powerful and impressive as they are, he just doesn't have the sting of his usual wit. There is obviously something different about him.
Melissa would fold her arms and look thoroughly unimpressed with Stiles, but she's got a medical bag in one hand and she Did come all the way out here. (Besides, Derek's not really that bad, besides still being on her List for the various Scott-beatdowns of many moons past.) "Stiles, sweety, calm down," she says with warm, motherly authority, stepping into the loft with a sigh, and gesturing for Derek to sit somewhere with a circular wave of her finger. "I've never evaluated a werewolf before, so I can't make any promises, but I'll see what I can do. Stiles? Can you fetch us some water?" The bag is set down somewhere near Derek, from which a stethoscope is plucked. "Alright, beastly. Off with the shirt." This time she does fold her arms. Though at least she's not leering. That would be awkward.
Stiles gives Derek a stubbornly indignant look, and then Melissa speaks up, so he visibly tries to calm down. He sets down the bag he brought up. "I brought you Chinese food," he tells Derek, and then he turns to vanish into the kitchen to fetch the water as instructed. He's careful to take a couple of minutes, just in case Melissa needed him out of the room, but naturally he's listening for all he's worth.
Derek at least doesn't roll his eyes. He really is feeling off enough not to make too much of a fuss. So he sheds the shirt. Good thing he freshened up his deodorant. There's still a kind of...strongly Derek-y scent to him. It's not a stink or an odor, it's just how he smells, but enhanced since he's been lying around for a while apparently before receiving that message. There's a book with a bookmark in it, sitting on the table next to the couch, so maybe he's also been reading and trying to get around instead of just staying laid out.
Derek sits back down on the couch as directed and just...breathes. Deep breaths. In, out. In, out. All those muscles, all that definition, moving like a well-oiled machine. And he really could be well-oiled. It would be so easy. Then he'd be all gleamywolf.
While Derek is disrobing, Melissa takes a moment to glance around the state of the loft. She's no forensic anything, but it stands to reason that the state of affairs in Derek's living space might inform her prognosis (even though she's no doctor either, but she needn't remind Stiles of the fact again). As for gleamywolf, mercifully, the nurse-professional has the ability to compartmentalize 'healthy' from 'mmm, healthy' and so she doesn't stare, too much. But comment? Oh, yes. "Christ, what do they feed you Hales? Corn wrapped in HGH?" That's actually a compliment, but that's about where Melissa leave it. "Sit, doofus," she says, pushing Derek down gently by his shoulder, but crouching down to press the oh-so-cold metal of the stethoscope to the wolf's chest, then stomach, then side, then back. He's breathing as required, so that's good. "When's the last time you actually washed any of this stuff?" she says, judgmental in a motherly way, removing the now-warm metal and then gesturing broadly to sheets and clothes and other linens that smell thickly of their owner. "It smells like boy."
Ethan takes a long breath. "Remember Jason said his badass father would be coming for all of us? Well, I just ran into his brother, who confirmed it. Badass Daddy is on the way."
Stiles returns, handing off the glasses of water, but before he can say anything more, his phone rings. He frowns at it, then says, "Uh, excuse me." And he withdraws to the kitchen again, speaking quietly into the phone. "Yeah?" He listens, then, "Shit. Have you told Jason?" He starts to pace a bit. "Dammit. Dammit. Well, I'll tell Scott as soon as I can. You should go back and... I guess find out whatever you can. But be careful, Ethan. I mean it."
Derek just grunts in response to most of what Melissa says, brow low and flat. He really emotes like a wolf would, if it were cast into human form. Of course, he hears everything Stiles says, even though he's speaking quietly. It's too small an area for anyone to assume they could say anything without him knowing exactly what it was. It's filed away for later, though. He has more immediate concerns, like answering questions so he can get the people out of his loft.
"Last week," Derek rumbles, looking a little more annoyed at being asked that. He keeps a tidy house! Which isn't too hard, since he has far more space than he does possessions, and his tastes tend to run on the simple side. "As I'm sure Stiles told you, there's something wrong." His tone is transitioning slowly into the one he uses more often with Stiles and his crew, indicating a long-suffering patience with things he probably feels he shouldn't have to answer, but does anyway.
Mm-mm. Nut-uh. Mama don't take that tone of voice. Holding up one finger and moving her head from side to side once, Melissa says, "Hey. You might be able to get away with growling that hypermasculine lupine bullshit with the boys, but I deal with pissed off grannies with rheumatoid arthritis that have more sass than that on a daily basis, so stow the attitude." She plucks a thermometer form her scrubs and moves to slip it in Derek's mouth before he has the chance to supply a saucy rebuttal. The scope, meanwhile is dropped into the bag, and a blood pressure gauge retrieved in its place. "Look, scent can be a good indicator of internal problems, like possible organ failure or even fungal infections, so I ask to make sure that's just how you normally smell. Give me some credit, Derek--I'm a bit more experienced than the teens you normally scare half-to-death." She gestures with her head towards Stiles, but she does so with an affectionate smile. He teen may be dramatic, but it's obvious she cares about him. "Alright, let me just take your blood pressure," she says, moving to fit the velcro around Derek's meaty arm and pump it full of air, releasing it while checking time against her watch.
Derek just goes along with whatever, though it's obvious he's even more annoyed by this treatment. It's true, she's not like the people younger than him that he usually intimidates with little to no effort, but there's probably a good reason he chooses most of his company carefully enough. Then again, there are plenty of people outside of Scott's crowd that he interacts with anyway. What's up with that?
So for now, he cooperates. If she can figure out anything, good. If not, she'd better be prepared for a bum rush. To say nothing of Stiles dragging her up here.
Meanwhile, Stiles is having a quiet but intense phone call. "Don't take Liam. That would complicate everything. We need to be smart about this. ... We'll watch out for him." Then, Suuure. I'll do that. Later, Ethan." Then he hangs up, groaning softly. A moment later he returns, leaning up against the wall near where Melissa is working, and lifts one hand to his mouth to uneasily nibble on his thumbnail. "How's he doing?" he asks, unable to stop himself. And really, he's doing a great job of holding back his freak-out. Derek just gets a Don't you argue with the nurse look from Stiles.
Yeah, well, Derek can be annoyed. This isn't exactly the celebrity-hosted abstastic rose petal-covered picnic Melissa had been holding out for the last few years, either. That said, with Derek being cooperative, the nurse has little reason to be saucy, herself, and so she actually concentrates on her work. Blood pressure is measured; thermometer retrieved and temperature noted; blue latex gloves put on (snap!). The tongue depressor comes out next so Melissa can see if the wolf's tongue is discolored or tonsils are enlarged, "Say 'aah'," she says, retrieving a penlight as she peers in the man's mouth. Click. "Ok, now follow my finger," she says, shining the light in Derek's eyes to check for pupil reactivity, moving her finger back and forth so she can see the full sclera and note any irregularities. "Hmm," she says, replacing all the tools, and then gently reaching for Derek's neck to test his lymph nodes for infection. Then comes the reflex hammer, and a light tapping against the man's pateller ligament to test for neurological damage. She really goes all out on the physical check-up here. "Have you noted any loss of weight or decrease in appetite? Fatigue? Depression?" she says, finally removing the gloves.
Stiles, eager for information but not to annoy Derek or Melissa, goes to sit on the couch and just... tries to sit still. He liberally bites his nails. Not usually a habit of his, but right now he's about to explode, and he's trying to hold still. Something has to give.
Derek cooperates as little as possible while still technically doing what's needed. He does want to find out what's wrong, but his patience is thinner than it normally is. Usually he's so robust and healthy! Hale and hardy. Literally! "I'm tired, or I'm crazy. Nowhere between." There's no real sign of infection or anything serious. Not even a headcold. It's just as if his body is convinced there's something -- something weird and kind of large -- but there isn't. He's on or off, not anywhere near his usual norm.
Without even looking over, he smacks Stiles's hand out of his mouth.
"You're worse than the kids in the pediatric ward," Melissa states with some exasperation, wrapping up her examination and zipping up her medical bag. It's also good Derek got to Stiles first, because Melissa was about to do something similar. "I don't see any overt signs of infection. Your lymph nodes seem fine, there's no discoloration or any other typical indications." However, the woman stands, bag in hand, and rests her free hand against her hip. There's something else. "But all of your reaction times are more sluggish than I'd expect for a man of your," the woman shakes her head, trying to find the a word other than the one that first comes to mind, but ultimately just shakes her head and sighs, "... fitness. Neurological, optical. Your blood pressure was also a bit low. And Stiles told me about your lethargy and mood swings. "Sorry, Stiles. "At my best guess, your body's working though some kind of systemic, internal event. Last time I saw something like this, the patient was going through withdrawal." She shrugs, lifting her free hand. "But from what I've gathered, you wolves detox pretty fast, so whatever this is, I don't think it's being caused by an external stimulus, or I'd see more indication of that. So, unless there's some supernatural element at play here, my suggestion would be just to rest and hydrate until it passes."
"Ow," Stiles says quietly, shaking the offended hand, but then he drops it to his lap and starts just pressing his hands together, trying hard not to fidget. It's not easy. Melissa's diagnosis makes perfect sense, but it also leaves him frustrated as hell. Translation: something is wrong, but there's no reasonable way to tell what. He clamps down on the exasperation, though, unwilling to complain about her helping. He manages a thin, tight smile, and murmurs, "Thanks." But already he's lost in thought, trying to fit the limited new information to the puzzle. Truth be told, Stiles is looking a little peaky, himself. Doubtful that he's been sleeping enough lately. (Though at least, between Derek and Lance, he's had people trying to make him.)
Derek keeps his gaze on Melissa as she speaks, listening with everything he knows. Even if he's not the best patient ever, he manages some modicum of politeness. "Thanks," he ends up replying to her. "I'll do that." It's a gentler sort of sentiment in those words, and he seems to bristle less when he's not being touched and examined. Something about it puts him on edge, maybe because of whatever's the matter with him.
It's a point though: Melissa is one of a very few people he would even tolerate doing that as much as he did today. And Stiles is the other, although he doesn't exactly have medical training. They double-teamed him! It isn't fair!
But when Stiles speaks too, Derek turns to look him over. His eyes narrow. Even if he isn't a trained professional in this field like Mama McCall, he's intuitive and perceptive, keenly so. "Can you get Stiles to do the same?"
That hand's sliding through her hair now, looking almost just as exasperated at Stiles as she was at Derek only a moment before. Oh, she noticed his exhaustion--she could see it when he grabbed at the hospital, and she's been noting it for some time. "Stiles, let me put it to you this way. Either you can find a way to relax and get some rest, or I'm going to start illegally supplying all of your friends with Xanax so they can spike your drinks." Given she knows Stiles would rather not see her arrested, there's really only one clear choice here. Then, she points a finger at the both of them, moving it back and forth. "That really goes for the both of you. Rest. Recover. Stiles, the world will still be there with all of its problems when you wake up. Derek, I have no compunctions against wielding guilt like a sledgehammer, so bear in mind that if you don't take care of yourself, you're just going to stress Stiles out more, and that will certainly make me very unhappy." The woman's hand drops, her expression determined and uncompromising. She then fishes a notepad out of a pocket and begins to write something on it as she walks away. "I'm going to leave a list of foods that'll keep your electrolyte and b-complex levels high, Derek. Werewolf or no, that should help your energy until this passes." Said list is slapped on a counter. "Be good, boys."
Stiles hops up from the couch and rushes after Melissa, reaching to give her a giant hug. He doesn't try to hold it too long, but... he's been worn really thin lately, and she keeps coming to his rescue. "Thanks," is all he can manage, suddenly a bit choked up. Then, when he steps back, he offers a somewhat unsteady little smile and just says, probably not for the first time, "Scott's really lucky to have a mom like you. I think he knows, but if he ever forgets... I promise to kick his little werewolf ass until it comes back to him." Which may be the most well-intentioned threat of bodily harm he's ever made about someone. Especially to the guy's mother's face. Then he picks up the list folding it carefully, and pockets it. "I'll make sure he eats," he promises.
Derek slowly, very slowly, has reached the point where he's more at ease, although there's that residual iritation, that persistent discomfort with any sort of interaction. Still...it's two people he likes. "Stay." He calls out to her. "There's enough food." Pushing up to his feet, he follows Stiles but does not hug Melissa, because that would be weird, he's pretty sure. He lifts a hand and places it on Stiles's head. "I'll make sure he sleeps," he promises, in turn.
Melissa slows in her exit. It wasn't a rushing out in anger or anything, so she doesn't mind the hug, even if it was a little unexpected. "Oh!" she says, pausing to return the affection with a one-armed hug of her own, and a short, bright laugh. "I think you'll be kicking his ass on a weekly basis," she says, without really meaning it. "Stiles, you can thank me by getting some rest. I know what all of you do is very tiring, but if you let it wear you down, there won't be any of you left to keep fighting. Take it in pieces. How do you think I manage my work schedule, huh?" Then, to Derek, she smiles, but gently shakes her head. "Thanks, Derek, but I do need to be heading home. That said, if you end up needing me again, honestly, just give me a call." She lifts a finger again, looking serious. "Don't spread this around, but I may not give you some of the credit your deserve for keeping this town safe. May." Said finger is waggled. Then, a ruffle of Stiles' hair, and the woman gently extracts herself to leave. "Goodnight, boys," she says, with emphasis on the 'goodnight' and firm expectation that there will be sleeping.
Once Melissa has gone, Stiles turns around to face Derek. "Well, tomorrow I'll go shopping and get you your health food," he promises. "But tonight, you're eating Chinese. It can't be all bad for you." He reaches for Derek's hand--the one on his head--and moves to tug him over to the couch, where he attempts to make him sit down, and then tugs the food over to him. "I got chopsticks and plastic cutlery, too. You want me to get you plates or anything from the kitchen?"
Derek watches Scott's mother leave. He has to smile a little bit, very faint since he's not the most expressive of people, but Stiles snaps him out of whatever thoughts drifting through his lupine head. Fairly easy to tug around and direct, he settles onto the couch and shakes his head at the question, just waiting for the food. And the water's there and everything! "I'm making you rest, Stiles. We can both go."
Stiles opens up the bag and sets out a box of fried rice, a box of egg fu yung, a box of egg rolls, and a box of mushu vegetables, with a little packet of thin wraps on the side. He offers Derek a pair of chopsticks, assuming that's what he'll want to eat with, and says, "C'mon, eat. I gotta keep my promise." Then he snags an egg roll and sinks back into the couch, munching on it. It's similar to the meal they had together a while back, probably not on accident.
The similarity is not lost on Derek. He reaches over, though, and snakes his arm around Stiles, sliding him closer whether he likes it or not. He picks up the rice and eats a little bit with chopsticks, then helps Stiles to eat some too. Maybe he's assuming that Stiles can't or otherwise won't eat, but he's not having any of it. "I gotta keep mine too."
Stiles relents and leans up against Derek, finishing up his eggroll and then accepting a bit of fried rice. Eventually he finishes chewing and says, "Guess we're stuck with each other, then." He doesn't seem to mind. Eventually he grabs the second set of chopsticks and picks up the mushu, sampling it, then offering Derek a bite.
Derek settles into satisfaction at seeing Stiles continue to eat, and he takes what is offered and offers more himself. In this way, sharing all the various courses of the meal, they're able to put quite a dent in it. Especially Derek, with his seemingly ravenous appetite. He must not be eating much. That, or his body is demanding a great deal more than he's putting into it, or maybe that he's able to put in.