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Derek sighed as he closed the door of the TARDIS behind him. The warm hum of his ship filled his ears, but it did little to shove aside the crushing wave of disappointment that was settling in his chest. It had been stupid to let himself hope, not when it could have easily been a glitch in his ship’s battered wiring, or some sort of echo in the time-space continuum. Just for a moment though, he’d let himself hope that he wasn’t alone.

 

There was a crash from somewhere below him. All of Derek’s senses were suddenly alert, because the noise hadn’t come from outside. Before he could take even a single step forward, the TARDIS jerked into motion and the centre console lit up as it took flight. Anger flooded through him and he snarled angrily at the thought that someone had dared touch his ship, the only part of his home that he had left.

 

“Is someone there?” an unfamiliar voice called out from the antechamber beneath the control room. “I didn’t mean to stumble into your crazy sci-fi lair, or whatever. But there was this guy, and I swear, he wanted to fucking eat me. Like, actually eat me, and your car was the only place around to hide.”

 

Derek stalked down the stairs and spotted the intruder. It was a human, barely out of his teens, and somehow hanging upside down with the TARDIS ‘ cables wrapped tightly around his legs. The boy could obviously feel Derek watching him, and he twisted and turned in the wires until his brown eyes were blinking up at Derek.

 

“Well, you’re gorgeous,” the boy blurted out. Derek blinked in surprise, and a bright red flush crept across the intruder’s cheeks. “I mean, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure if maybe you’d be like super alien, with tentacles or an extra eye or something. Not that I just assumed you’d be alien, time travel was a definite possibility and I suppose one of the secret government agencies could have been developing this sort of tech.”

 

Derek couldn’t hold back a snort of derisive amusement at the kid’s babbling. If possible, the kid got even redder and he clapped a hand over his mouth to forcibly stop himself from talking. Derek didn’t move, but his initial anger was all but gone in the face of the absurdity of the situation.

 

“Are you gonna let me down or just stand there and stare like some sort of creepy stalker?” the boy asked after the silence stretched out too long. Derek smirked, before he reached for the sonic screwdriver in the inside pocket of his leather jacket.

 

“Wait, what’s that? What are you going to do?” Derek took some pleasure in the look of fear as the human stared at the screwdriver. For a race that still believed they were the only intelligent life in the universe, humans had some rather imaginative ideas about how first contact might go.

 

Derek smirked, as the boy continued to squirm and he took his time flicking the screwdriver open and watching the tip glow green. As the buzzing noise filled the air around them, the wires above the boy’s head untangled themselves and dropped the human into an undignified heap.

 

“You did that on purpose,” the boy accused, glaring up at Derek and Derek didn’t deny it, just shrugged one shoulder while he waited for the human to scramble to his feet.

 

“What are you doing on my ship?” Derek asked, looking over the intruder now that he was the right way up. The tight jeans and hoodie were fairly nondescript but common for the time period that Derek had just left. At least, the kid hadn’t been here for long.

 

“Weren’t you listening while you were standing there looking menacing? Some asshole was trying to eat me. He wasn’t a friend of yours, was he? You aren’t going to drag me out and cook me in some sort of stew, are you? I’m sure I’d taste awful.”

 

“Don’t sell yourself short, I’m sure you’re delicious,” Derek said before he could stop himself and the kid actually took a step backwards, as if it would make a difference. Derek huffed a laugh, putting the screwdriver back in his jacket before he put the boy at ease. “No, I’m not going to eat you.”

 

“Well, good. I’m Stiles, by the way, just in case you were wondering.” The human held out a hand, as if waiting for Derek to shake it. Derek had never really had much time for such quaint human customs and he just stared at the hand, unimpressed.

 

“I don’t care.” Derek said, before stalking back up to the control room. The TARDIS was still in flight, but something seemed to have scrambled his systems. Normally, he’d just flip a couple of levers, and he’d be right back where he started, but for some reason the coordinates had been erased.

 

“Whoa. That is so cool!” The human, Stiles, had followed him and was staring up at the centre console. “What’s it doing?”

 

“It’s in flight. You must have damaged the circuits while you were messing around with those wires,” Derek snapped in frustration as he flicked a couple of switches and the console let out an angry hiss of steam.

 

“I don’t think it likes you,” Stiles commented. “Are you sure this is your ship?”

 

“Of course it’s my ship.” Derek glared at the kid. Of course, at that moment, the TARDIS decided that it had a mind of it’s own and jolted sharply to one side. Stiles lost his balance, tumbling up against Derek and sending them both sprawling onto the metal floor.  The human landed squarely on Derek, knocking the air out of him.

 

The human’s hands were flat against Derek’s chest, and Derek felt his ears turn pink. He took a deep breath to stop his hearts beating faster, and he forced his face into a scowl. It had been too long since he’d had actual contact with another living being. That was the only reason he hadn’t shoved the human off of him as soon as they fell.

 

Stiles didn’t seem to be in any hurry to move either. Those brown eyes seemed half glazed as he stared down at Derek, fixating on his mouth. Derek rolled his eyes, before shoving at Stiles’ shoulder to push him away. The human staggered backwards, blushing bright red and almost tripping over the railing in his haste.

 

Derek had more important things to worry about than the human’s feelings, and right at the top of the list was getting back to 21st century Earth. The TARDIS wheezed to a stop, and Derek stalked over to the centre console. He flicked a couple of switches and turned the dial to Earth 2016, but when he pulled down the big lever, the TARDIS remained stubbornly silent. Frustrated, he kicked at the machine and tried not to wince at the pain that radiated through his foot.

 

 “Even I know that kicking it won’t make it fly,” Stiles said, and Derek glared at him. “What? I’m just saying. My dad tries that trick with his appliances all the time and nothing ever starts.”

 

“You’re comparing my sophisticated ship that is capable of travelling anywhere in time and space, with machines that perform human chores?” Derek asked incredulously. 

 

“Are you serious? You’re Camaro is a scifi space machine that travels in time? That is so cool! Not to mention, it’s much bigger on the inside. You could market the hell out of this sort of technology. Can you imagine never having to fight to get your luggage closed again?”

 

Derek stared incredulously as the human practically bounced around the cockpit, peering closely at the different buttons and levers but thankfully not touching anything. A startled bark of laughter bubbled its way out of his chest when Stiles stuck his tongue out in concentration and looked about two seconds from licking one of the pillars.

 

Stiles turned at the sound, crossing his arms defensively across his chest. “What? It’s my first time on a spaceship. A little bit of a freak out is entirely justified.”

 

“First and last. Just as soon as the TARDIS decides to cooperate, I’m taking you home,” Derek insisted, throwing another glare at his machine. “Don’t make yourself comfy.”

 

Stiles beamed, which really wasn’t the reaction Derek was expecting and he blamed the surprise for the way his heart flipped. The air in the control room felt like it was suddenly filled with an excited energy.

 

“What?” Derek asked gruffly.

 

“You said that you’d take me home. Which means I’m not home now,” Stiles said slowly, as if waiting for Derek to deny it. Derek just shrugged, which was all it took for Stiles to be moving towards the door. Derek was faster though, barring the kid’s way.

 

“I told you. I’m taking you home.” Derek insisted, glaring at Stiles. He did not want to be responsible for a human running around an alien planet. He’d done that before when he was younger and it had always led to even bigger catastrophes than the ones he managed to stumble across on his own. Humans are trouble magnets.

 

Stiles threw a pointed look over his shoulder at the centre console that was still stubbornly silent. “Why don’t you get on that then, and I’ll just take a quick look outside before we go?”

 

“You go out that door and I get the engines going, I’ll leave you here,” Derek warned, but it did nothing to dim the spark of excitement in Stiles’ eyes. The TARDIS seemed to have taken a liking to the human, because it gave a warning creak and the console let off excess steam.

 

“Fine!” Derek huffed in defeat. “One quick look, and then I’m taking you straight back home.”

 

“Sounds good to me,” Stiles agreed, and Derek felt an odd fluttering feeling in his chest when the human smiled at him. Maybe, he’d been alone too long, one trip wasn’t going to hurt.

 

~~~

 

“Holy Shit!”

 

Derek jerked the door closed behind them and forced the bolts home, even as the dull thuds of a dozen solid beings hitting the newly closed door echoed around the control room. Stiles was panting hard beside him, his hands on his knees and those brown eyes flushed with exhilaration. He was fast; Derek would give him that.  And really, it hadn’t been entirely Stiles’ fault that the rock he’d been leaning on had been some sort of religious artefact, or that talking directly to the religious elder was beyond blasphemous.

 

“Is that what it’s always like?” Stiles asked as his breathing slowly returned to a steadier pace.

 

“The running tends to happen when I come across particularly ignorant species. Or when I take them with me,” Derek muttered as he moved across to the centre console. As he started to flick the switches, the TARDIS thankfully wheezed into action and the thuds of alien hostiles faded away.

 

“Hey! It wasn’t my fault,” Stiles protested, glaring at Derek. “There wasn’t a sign or anything to say that it was sacred or mystical or whatever. You’d think if they didn’t want anyone leaning on their rock that they’d put up a sign or a fence or one of those little velvet rope barriers that you see in museums. Totally not my fault.”

 

“Do you ever shut up?” Derek asked. He couldn’t remember if all humans were this chatty or if he’d just lucked out with his stowaway. It’d been a while since he’d had anyone else on board his ship and Stiles’ voice seemed to echo off the cavernous walls.

 

“Not really,” Stiles replied, completely nonplussed by Derek’s aggressive tone. “I’ve been to an alien planet. I met actual aliens and they tried to kill me. Today has been so awesome. No one is ever going to believe any of it ever happened, which sucks. Scott would be so jealous.”

 

“You shouldn’t tell anyone about me,” Derek snapped, as the centre column wheezed one final time and the TARDIS came to a stop.

 

“Why not? Will some sort of shady government agency pick me up? Will I cause some sort of time disturbance and accidentally rewrite all of history?” Stiles asked curiously and Derek rolled his eyes.

 

“No. Everyone will think you’re crazy and you’ll get a nice padded cell somewhere. Now, come on. We’ve landed, so let’s get you home. I’m done playing tour guide.”

 

~~~

 

“You said you were taking me home,” Stiles accused, as he sauntered into the TARDIS two days later.  Derek scowled at the human and pulled the door closed behind them.

 

“All of you human species look the same,” he growled. Stiles turned to stare at him, his face a mask of utter disbelief before he started laughing.

 

“They were blue, Derek. Like not just a bluish tinge, but full-on, royal blue,” Stiles stated incredulously. Derek stubbornly tried to keep a straight face but the corners of his mouth were twitching upwards rebelliously.

 

“Maybe you’re just ridiculously pale,” Derek retorted and Stiles pouted.

 

“That’s uncalled for. I’m naturally fair and Beacon Hills is hardly the sunshine capital of America. Maybe if I’d been born in California, it wouldn’t be so bad.” Stiles was holding one arm up as if examining the paleness for himself and Derek smothered a laugh behind a cough. “Hey, I know. You should take me to a beach next. Somewhere with plenty of sun and sunshine and when you eventually manage to take me home, I’ll have a kickass tan to show for it.”

 

“The only place I’m taking you is back to your home,” Derek insisted. As he started to flip the switches and levers to drive the TARDIS, he couldn’t quite shake the image of Stiles in a pair of swim trunks looking relaxed and happy. Maybe a beach wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

 

“That’s what you said last time,” Stiles pointed out. He came closer to the centre, his eyes looking over every inch of the console in reverent awe. “Maybe your ship likes me. At least enough to give me a couple of side trips before taking me home.”

 

Derek glanced at the chronometer as the TARDIS came to a stop and he sighed. Part of him stubbornly wanted to flick up all the switches and try again, but deep down he knew Stiles was probably right. For whatever reason, the TARDIS wasn’t quite ready to take the boy home yet.

 

~~~

 

“That was so awesome,” Stiles exclaimed as he stumbled back into the TARDIS. His cheeks were flushed with wine and the elegant black top hat was tilting precariously on his head. The waistcoat was beautifully tailored, a thank you gift from their host and the smear of lipstick still on the collar from a rather appreciative hostess. Even Derek had to admit that 18th Century fashion looked good on Stiles.

 

“Sherlock fucking Holmes, Derek. We met Sherlock Holmes. Do you have any idea how many of my childhood dreams have been fulfilled today?” The enthusiasm is infectious and Derek grinned. He might not have the same hero worship for the intrepid detective and the beleaguered doctor that followed his every footstep, but Derek had felt alive, racing down cobblestone streets and uncovering murderous plots. 

 

“I’d have thought you’d have had more exciting childhood dreams. Not a half-crazed opiate addict and a quiet country doctor.” Derek didn’t realise he was going to say that until the words came tumbling out of his mouth in a tone that bordered on teasing.

 

“Are you joking? As in actually cracking a joke? You can’t possibly be serious right now. Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective the world has ever seen.” Stiles protested, shoving at Derek’s shoulder. “How did you get away with wearing that leather jacket and jeans, anyways? You should have stuck out ridiculously and yet no one even blinked.”

 

Derek just shrugged. Stiles was hardly the first person to ask these things, but he didn’t have an answer. It had never really bothered him. “Does it matter?”

 

“I guess not. Where are we going next?”

 

“I’m still trying to take you home. So I guess we’ll just have to find out.”

 

~~~

 

“Come on, Derek. We can’t just leave her there. She saved your life,” Stiles yelled angrily from the doorway.

 

“My life wouldn’t have needed saving if she hadn’t put it in danger in the first place,” Derek snapped back. He should have known better, letting Stiles listen to the sexy red head and following him straight into a dangerous con.

 

“She didn’t go through with it though. She’s the one who stopped the whole city from being blown to smithereens. I think she deserves a second chance.” Stiles insisted and Derek sighed. The universe might not miss Lydia Martin if she died today, but there were enough dead on his conscience already.

 

“Get inside, Stiles.”

 

“Not without Lydia.” Derek wanted to growl in frustration and settled instead for slamming the first two levers down.

 

“Get inside, Stiles, so that we can go and rescue her.”

 

“Oh.” Stiles said, almost fumbling as he hurried to get the door closed.  Derek rolled his eyes before he focussed all his attention on flying. The TARDIS tended to be a little temperamental on short trips and he had to be extremely careful or else Lydia could find herself spread across all of time and space and that sort of thing tended to get messy.

 

“Get ready. If she’s surrounded, the TARDIS won’t be able to tell the difference between red head and angry pyroviles.” Derek warned, twisting around for the rear stabilisers as a flicker of red started to appear in the centre of the console room. By the time he’d turned around, Lydia was starting to solidify and there was thankfully no sign of any pyroviles. There was however, Stiles standing behind Lydia wielding what looks to be an umbrella.

 

“Really?”  Derek asked incredulously, one eyebrow raised as he tried to work out just what Stiles thought he’d be fighting armed like that.

 

“It’s not like there’s an armoury around here,” Stiles protested. “Wait… is there an armoury? I mean, I know those corridors lead places and there’s bedrooms and probably a kitchen and one time you joked about a library, so maybe there is an armoury? That would be so cool.”

 

“When you’re quite finished, would one of you mind telling me where I am? It’s definitely an improvement on where I was a minute ago, but at least then I knew who was trying to kill me,” Lydia asked, looking around the control room and her expression distinctly lacked the awe and wonder that Derek kind of enjoyed. He scowled instead, going back to the controls. They needed to get out of there and Lydia was Stiles’ problems.

 

“Derek calls it the TARDIS.  It can travel anywhere in time and space, apparently, although it seems to be avoiding 21st century America. It just sort of appears places and for some reason no one ever notices a black Camaro, even on the planets that don’t have cars.”

 

“All of this is inside a 21st century American car?” Lydia asked, gesturing at the rather spacious room that she’d found herself in.

 

“It’s bigger on the inside.” Derek said smugly as he flipped the controls to put them back into flight.

 

“And you decided to save me from a rather fiery death, what, out of the goodness of your heart? No one does anything for free in this universe,” Lydia asked, frowning. Derek couldn’t help but agree, but it wasn’t like he wanted anything more than to drop her off at the very next planet they landed on.

 

“It was Stiles’ idea.”

 

Stiles turned a very interesting shade of bright red and Derek smirked as the boy started to babble excuses. “We couldn’t just leave you to die. I mean, it was your fault that they wanted to kill you, but you did help us in the end. After you conned us…”

 

Derek tuned the actual words out, focussing on the way his ship hummed beneath his fingers and resolutely ignoring the way that the voices in the console eased the loneliness that had built up since his family died.

 

~~~

 

Lydia didn’t leave at the next planet, or the one after that. Apparently she was an ex-time agent and had to have been one of the Agency’s best. Derek had never met a human who was better at blending in seamlessly with whatever planet they landed on and talking her way out of trouble. Compared to Stiles’, her competence was almost as refreshing as it was helpful.

 

If Stiles would just stop following her around and looking like a lovesick puppy, Derek might actually like her.

 

He knew that disliking her was irrational at best, but he was good at ignoring his feelings. It was easier outside the TARDIS, where there always seemed to be some sort of mystery or alien threat to take care of. Inside the TARDIS, he had thrown himself into getting his repair schedule up to date while the two humans had disappeared into the corridors to sleep or whatever else humans do when they aren’t driving him crazy.

 

“So what’s the deal with you and Stiles?”

 

The voice startled Derek and when he straightened up he banged his head on one of the overhead pipes. Cursing, he pulled himself up out of the grates and back up into the control room.

 

Lydia was perched on a railing, twirling a strand of her red hair between her fingers. She didn’t seem at all phased when he glared at her and didn’t say a word.

 

“Spill, Mr Dark-and-broody. I’ve spent the last week and a half on this ship with the two of you and the unresolved tension is almost unbearable.”

 

“What?”

 

“You and Stiles,” Lydia repeated. When Derek just scowled at her, she rolled her eyes. “Men. Doesn’t matter which species or time period, somehow you’re all utterly dense.”

 

“I’m just trying to take Stiles back to his own time,” Derek insisted and Lydia’s eyes narrowed.

 

“Really? Just get me somewhere in the 24th century and I’ll find a vortex manipulator and get him home. Wouldn’t want you to have to deal with the inconvenience of dragging him around the universe because you can’t get your ship to land right. Might save him some heartache while I’m at it.”

 

The rumble of angry frustration that bubbled out of him sounded almost like a growl. The sound would have caused entire species to quake with fear, and yet Lydia Martin just sat there and smiled smugly.

 

“I can drop you off at the 24th Century, but Stiles is staying here,” Derek snarled at her.

 

“Oh I know. I just thought I’d make sure you knew,” she said pleasantly. “I guess I can kind of see the appeal. I mean, all of that enthusiasm and energy is kind of charming in a dorky kind of way.”

 

“Why are you telling me this?”

 

“Because you’ve been glaring daggers at me every time Stiles is in the same room?”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Derek lied.

 

“I’m not here to interfere. You and Stiles can keep doing your mutually unrequited pining for the rest of your lives, for all I care. But I thought that clearing the air might mean I can stay until I find what I’m looking for.”

 

“You couldn’t find what you wanted in the time agency?”

 

“They took something from me. When I went to get it back, I found the entire agency a smoking wreck, burning across multiple dimensions and different times. “

 

“The Parrish Pyre?” Derek asked. It was one historical event that all of the Time Lords had just instinctively known to avoid; a fixed point in history, although the origin of the fire was unknown.  Lydia nodded and her face was set with a fierce determination that would make Derek think twice about standing in her way.

 

“And now I’m not going to stop looking until I find what I’m looking for or I make the agents responsible regret their life choices.”

 

“Anyone ever tell you that you’re downright frightening.”

 

“Oh, I know.”

 

~~~

 

“What was that?” Stiles demanded, his eyes still wide from shock, even though Derek had dragged him back into the TARDIS five minutes before. They’d brought the smell of smoke in and it hung in the air between them. Lydia’s absence after so long was strange, but not unwelcome.

 

“Well, she did say that she liked them hot,” Derek deadpanned and smirked when Stiles’ eyes seemed to bulge even further. He didn’t even bother to duck the punch that Stiles threw at his shoulder.

 

“Now is not the time to decide you have a sense of humour. What was that thing? And Lydia… she was… and then it…” Stiles’ ramblings trailed off, struggling to find the right words. His hands were making some rather lewd gestures.

 

“’It’ was a ‘he’, most likely from the planet, Tartarus. Most people call them hellhounds,” Derek told him.

 

“Seriously? Hellhounds? And Lydia…” Stiles slowly sunk down to the floor. “I thought she liked travelling with us.”

 

“She told me once that she was looking for something. Or rather, someone,” Derek said slowly. “Now she’s found him.”

 

“Yeah, but Derek, the dude was on fire.” There was still a hint of disbelief in Stiles’ voice, but he didn’t sound quite as shocked as he had before.

 

“Ready for another trip, or did you need a bit longer to get over Lydia’s and her boyfriend being reunited.”

 

“Screw you, Derek. There is not enough brain bleach in the universe to get rid of that image.”

 

~~~

 

“London? Again? You know I’m American, right?”

 

“I know, Stiles.”

 

“This is like the fourth time in a month. It’s kind of ridiculous. Maybe there’s some sort of alien magnet under the Thames.”

 

“There’s no such … thing. Come on.”

 

“What? Where are we going?”

 

“To investigate the readings I’m getting from the Thames.”

 

~~~

 

Derek’s arms were wrapped carefully around Stiles, holding the human’s unconscious form close to his chest as he stumbled back into the TARDIS. Even though Derek had removed the darts, the skin on Stiles’ neck was red and the puncture wounds were obvious. Derek never should have brought Stiles here.

 

Time had almost seemed to tug at him, pulling him through all of space to that one point. He’d tried to ignore it, convinced it must be a trap of some sort or a false hope. But an old family friend had passed him a coded message at their last planet stop.

 

His uncle was alive.

 

Of course, a couple of centuries apart were enough that Derek had forgotten what an asshole Peter could be. All those years alone stuck in a single time stream had fanned his already temperamental disposition into a scheming, homicidal madness.

 

It hadn’t been Hunters or any of the other enemies that Derek had made over the years that had shot Stiles. Now in hindsight, the signs were all there and it was painfully obvious what Peter had wanted the entire time. But Derek had let himself be caught up in the whole scheme like an idiotic time pup.  

 

He’d had to kill Peter to keep him away from the TARDIS and Stiles.

 

Derek carefully rested Stiles on a bench to the side of the centre console.  They weren’t safe until they were back in the time vortex. He bolted and locked the door just to be sure before launching the ship back into space.

 

The mechanical noises of flight seemed to stir Stiles slightly and Derek moved closer instinctively, knowing he was hovering and not caring. He had no idea what was in those darts and he needed to know that Stiles was okay.

 

Stiles blinked his eyes open and smiled up at Derek. “You’re pretty.”

 

“What?” Derek asked and Stiles blinked a few more times before blushing bright red all the way to the tips of his ears. It was quite an adorable look and some of Derek’s worry faded.

 

“Nothing, I didn’t say anything. Not at all. And if I did, well, alien space drugs, Derek. You can’t hold it against me. Besides, your uncle is kind of crazy, just in case you hadn’t noticed. If it’s okay with you, I might skip any more of your future family reunions.”

 

“I’ll be sure to send you a memo if any more of my relatives try to kill us,” Derek deadpanned. Stiles rolled his eyes and he knew that everything was going to be alright.

 

~~~

 

“Where’d we land this time?” Stiles asked as he opened the TARDIS door and then froze. Derek came up behind him to see what the fuss was, and his heart sunk.

 

“21st Century America,” he muttered, wishing he sounded more confident or like this had been exactly where he’d been trying to go.  But he’d stopped trying to take Stiles home months ago.

 

“How long have I been gone?” Stiles asked quietly, none of the excitement that Derek was used to seeing. Frowning, Derek turned back to check his instruments, hoping that maybe he was wrong and it was a couple of years out, but no.

 

“Twelve hours. Enough time that whatever was chasing you has probably lost interest.”

 

“Wait… if the TARDIS landed here, does that mean there’s going to be an alien invasion or a tribble infestation or something? Do I need to warn my dad?” Stiles looked genuinely worried, his eyes darting about the street as if he expected an alien threat to appear from behind the nearest tree. He’d been more skittish since their brush with Peter, but caution was hardly a bad thing in the TARDIS.

 

“I’ll run some checks and scans. Should take a day or so, just to make sure it’s clear,” Derek offered. He could probably get it done faster, but there was some maintenance work he’d been putting off that he could do while the scans double-checked, and he would do all of that for the way that Stiles was smiling at him.

 

“Thanks, Derek. So, a day, huh?” Stiles checked and Derek nodded, so Stiles continued. “I’ll be back before you go. Gotta say goodbye properly after all.”

 

Derek swallowed, trying to ignore the hollow ache that swelled within his chest, but all he said was, “Don’t be late.”

 

 Then Stiles was bounding off down the street and disappearing out of sight. Derek stood alone in the control room for hardly a moment before he flicked the switch to start the scans and stalked out of the TARDIS. No matter what Stiles said, milk tasted better if it came from an actual cow.

 

~~~

 

It was almost exactly 24 hours and one small alien infestation later and Derek was pacing back and forth unable to focus on any of the half-finished repairs and tasks that he had started and given up on while waiting for Stiles. Still, the knock on the TARDIS door startled him and he was scowling as he wrenched open the door.

As usual, Stiles seemed oblivious to the fact that Derek was not excited to see him. He smiled cheerfully and went to push past Derek into the TARDIS, but he wasn’t alone. An older man stood behind Stiles and was eyeing Derek suspiciously. Derek pushed Stiles back and raised an eyebrow. “Explain.”

 

“This is my dad. Dad, this is Derek,” Stiles shrugged, and for the first time Derek noticed the backpack straps on Stiles’ shoulders. Suddenly he felt a little less sure of what was happening, and he flicked his eyes over to Stiles’ dad who was looking past them both and eyeing the inside of the TARDIS with wonder.

 

With a sigh, Derek stepped aside and let them both inside so as not to cause a scene in the street. Stiles moved inside with a grin, going to place his bag up near the stairs, but his father stopped next to Derek in the doorway.

 

“I honestly thought that you had drugged my son with some kind of psychotropic drugs. I’m not sure if I should be relieved that I was wrong, because this seems like it could be so much worse.”

 

“Don’t interrogate Derek, Dad. I told you, he’s been trying to bring me home since I got here.” Stiles perched himself on the edge of a railing looking back at them. “This is the TARDIS and it can travel anywhere in time and space, although for some reason it’s quite fond of London.”

 

“So, what you’re saying is that he’s a terrible driver?” the older man asked and Derek huffed in annoyance.

 

“Stiles, what is going on here?” Derek asked again, letting a small trace of irritation cover the hope that was creeping into his voice.

 

“Dad needed to see that you weren’t drugging me or brainwashing me to join a cult. Otherwise he wouldn’t let me come.”

 

“I still wouldn’t let you go if I thought I had any chance of stopping you.”

 

“Daad…” Stiles whined and the other man smiled.

 

“You take care of my son, Derek.  I expect you both home for birthdays and holidays and the occasional surprise visit.” The man said and Derek stared at him. Stiles was beaming though and he ran back to the door to give his dad a hug.

 

“Thanks, Dad. You’re the best.”

 

When they parted, Derek got yet another suspicious look before Stiles’ dad held out his hand. Derek took it, shaking it firmly and he felt the corners of his mouth twitch up into an actual smile.

 

“I’ll take care of him,” Derek promised, and the man nodded.

 

“See that you do.”

 

And with that, he walked out of the TARDIS and closed the door behind him, leaving Stiles and Derek alone.

 

“Where to next?” Stiles asked and Derek smiled, his earlier bad mood completely lifted. Stiles wasn’t leaving and the glances that Stiles kept throwing his way held the promise of something more that Derek would definitely be interested in exploring further. But right now, they had all of time and space at their disposal.

 

“Let’s find out.”