Five

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It was an hour later, the sun finally set, the dark, cloudy night setting a bleak mood for the coming conflict. They knew they were up against the Oni, as well as the Nogitsune.

It took them a bit to understand why the Nogitsune had chosen Stiles to be his host, out of all people. There were so many choices- others were stronger, faster, more intuitive, more skilled- but Stiles was Stiles. The only human in the group (besides Allison, who was an experienced hunter, so did it really count?), yet he still survived and thrived. He was the boy who ran with the wolves and banshees and hunters, and still managed to come out on top. He was intelligent and had connections to everyone- the sheriff, the hospital, the supernatural. Stiles- for anyone intelligent- was the most ideal pick for anyone.

They were waiting under the awning in between the school and the lacrosse field. It had taken them almost the whole hour to gather and explain to everyone the plan, which was quite simple- they would need the werewolves to distract the Oni while Mr. Argent and Allison shot them with the few silver arrows they had. Lydia and Kira were going to try and talk Stiles out of his own body, get him to take control like he had done in the hour before.

It wasn't a great plan, but it was all they had. Luckily, there had been few casualties so far, the only ones who were injured were two of the police, disarming a makeshift bomb that had been placed in the electrical shed at the roof of the hospital.

"Now this is a party!" A cold declaration in a distant voice of Stiles echoed through the awning, making the group turn around and face the boy. He looked perhaps, even worse than before, as if he was truly about to die, and that worried them. What if they weren't able to save him without killing him?

Behind him, two of the Oni stood guard. He was sat on the steps of the school, having changed from Derek's large clothes from the previous day to a grey t shirt and black and white flannel, along with black jeans, something quite different from Stiles' usual wardrobe.

"Nice to see you all, it's really a pleasure." The Nogitsune spoke, opening his hands widely. "However, we all know that not what we're here for." With that, several other Oni appeared, more than what they remembered. Scott roared loudly, his eyes turning red as the other werewolves ran forwards, attacking the Oni in an effort to distract them.

It seemed like a fight they were destined to fail. Maybe it was because there was more Oni then there was before. Maybe it was because they ran out of silver arrows after the first five Oni, when there was still eight remaining. Maybe it was because after about ten minutes of fighting, the Oni had two of them in their hold, their tight shadowy grips incapacitating them, leaving the Nogitsune to get up for the first time during the fight.

"You know," It said, walking around the Oni, staring at each member of the pack, all of them in a chokehold or being held under a large katana or knife by its shadowy knights. "I thought you would be more of a fight, that was honestly quite disappointing."

"Stiles, you have to fight him." Scott spoke up, being held up on his knees by his hair, one of the Oni's katana pressed against his neck. He turned to his best friend, an incredulous expression on his face.

"Well why would I want to do that, Scott?" He asked. "It feels so good to actually be the one with the power, for once. I've always been the weakest one, the liability, the human. You all know it; I'm proving you wrong. I'm no longer useless-"

"You are not Stiles." Derek said loudly. "You are a fox inside his body. He isn't useless, he's irreplaceable. That's why he's fighting against you and that's why you're going to lose."

It laughed, reaching into the flannel. "I made this a few days ago Derek, I've been meaning to show you." It said, pulling out a dagger. It looked to be silver, similar to the one's owned by the Argents. "It was made with mountain ash and wolfsbane. I bet it's quite nasty when someone like you are cut by it."

The Nogitsune walked over to him, tracing the blade across Derek's cheekbone for a moment, before taking its place back in the center of the pack, looking at its own sullen reflection in the knife.

"I asked the boy who he would like me to kill first." It said, spinning the dagger on its tip. "I didn't get much of a response, seeing as he was too busy having a fit. I think I'll go with the oldest first, right, Mr. Argent?"

He took a step forward, his right hand gripping the blade tightly, when he stopped, his body shuddering violently.

"Stiles?" Lydia asked, her voice trembling. His eyes snapped to look at her, fear and panic filling the air as they realized the Stiles was back.

"It's going to kill you," Stiles mumbled, though his voice could be heard through the echoes. He looked at Scott, then Allison and Lydia, then Derek. "He's going to kill you."

"Stiles, you have to call off the Oni, they only listen to you!" Isaac said, his loud voice confusing the boy even more.

"They won't listen, they won't listen." Stiles said, sounding slightly insane. He looked down at the knife in his hands, twisting it in his grip so it faced his stomach.

"Stiles, you don't have to do that!" Allison cried, her voice shaking as she realized what he was planning on doing. Stiles looked up, his jaw clenched terribly tight, looking only at Derek, who was struggling to get out of the Oni's impossible grip.

"It's the only way," Stiles said, looking around at his friends. "I have to do this, I'm so sorry."

"Stiles-!" Vision tunneled as the dagger found its way into the human's stomach. He looked around, his grip still tight on the knife, the six-inch weapon buried deep into his stomach, falling to his knees as he twisted it deeper, a large grimace on his face.

The Oni released them suddenly, the monsters dissolving into dust, many of them falling to their knees but quickly scrambling up. Derek was by the injured boy's side immediately, pulling his head and upper body into his lap, staring at the hilt of the dagger.

"What's going to happen?" Scott asked, reaching Stiles second. Stiles' eyes were half open in an injured stupor, his breaths ragged and shallow.

"The mountain ash shouldn't hurt him, it should hurt the Nogitsune." Mr. Argent said, leaning over to glance at Stiles up and down. He began to cough violently, sitting up with Lydia's help to throw up black blood all over his shoes.

"Ugh," Stiles mumbled, black liquid dripping from his mouth. In the small puddle, there was a small fly squirming around, which Mr. Argent quickly snatched up, dropping into the box they had brought to keep it.

"Stiles, you did it!" Scott said, holding his friend's arm. Stiles looked around, eyes still hazy.

"You realize there's still a dagger in my stomach right?" Stiles mumbled, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Lay back down," Kira said, pushing on his shoulders gently in order for him to lay back down onto Derek. "You need to relax."

"Here," Derek said, going to grab Stiles' hand in order to take away some of his pain. He quickly pulled back, growling as he shook his hand. The moment his fingers had touched Stiles' skin, it was scorched with a deep pain, nothing Derek had ever felt before.

"How much pain are you in, Stiles?" Derek demanded. "I can barely touch you and that's only a second of what you are experiencing."

"Oh, it's not that bad," Stiles said, eyes still struggling to stay open. "Just the pain of a spirit leaving your body, a dagger in my stomach, and the pain of having something else in your head. No biggy."

"Shut up," Lydia said half-heartedly, listening to the distant wailing of an ambulance.

"You saved us, Stiles." Ethan spoke up. "That was awesome!" Stiles chuckled, cringing as the muscles in his stomach contracted around the sharp blade.

"It's all in a day's work," He mumbled, still staring at the dagger. The group chuckled, feeling better knowing that Stiles' familiar sarcasm had not been lost.

Everything was going to be fine.

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