Chapter 1: A Spark and an Anchor
Stiles is a Spark. Stiles needs an anchor. Why? Cause he apparently breaks lights when he's upset.
Derek buys him a salad because he eats like shit.
The word seemed to glow like a neon sign whenever he closed his eyes. Stiles; clumsy, flailing, spastic, flannel wearing Stiles, is a Spark.
What the hell even is a Spark?! He keeps thinking.
That's what he intends to find out, other people however seem to think he doesn't need to be keyed into the conversation.
So here he sits, on a metal stool in the corner of the examination room at Deaton’s vet clinic while said vet, the best friend, the goddess, and angry brows all argue about what Stiles should be doing about the Spark thing. Well, angry brows doesn't actually say much, he huffs and rolls his eyes a lot but doesn't get too involved with the actual conversation. And he glances to Stiles every now and then. Which, weird. They argue, talking as if Stiles isn't sitting just a few feet away.
"It is necessary for Stiles to accept this gift he's been given. To learn about its history and the strength of the power that resides within him." Deaton calmly explains.
"But it's dangerous! You said it was. You said he could basically draw in the power and lose himself to it. How is exploring it a good idea?" There's a plea in Scotts voice, worry for Stiles clear in his tone.
"But he can't just ignore it Scott." Lydia protests. "All that energy and power has to go somewhere. What if he's just a ticking time bomb? He needs to learn about this, the good and the bad."
"Does Stiles get a say here?" Stiles waves his hand in attempt to draw attention to himself. "Did you guys go deaf? Blind? Get a sudden case of temporary amnesia?"
The only pair of eyes that meet his are the green-hazel set hiding beneath a pair of very vocal eyebrows. Eyebrows that said he was getting just as annoyed with the way this conversation was playing out as Stiles, though Stiles couldn't imagine why he would be annoyed with the back and forth he was being excluded from.
"Ignoring this could end very badly, much like Lydia said. Perhaps not quite as dramatically as she had put it but bad all the same. It would be irresponsible for him to stay naive about his. He at the very least needs to find his anchor."
"Anchor?" Stiles asks. "I have an anchor?"
"His anchor will be vital in his controlling of the power that rests within him." Deaton continues, his back to Stiles.
"Hey. Hello! Maybe address the time-bomb sitting in the room?!"
"It shouldn't be too difficult to find the anchor. A shapeshifter will have likely been drawn to him to begin with, they would have been present in some capacity prior to the Spark coming alive. The lighting of the Spark would have called out to its anchor, creating the bond between the two of them."
"Bond?" Scott asks.
"Yes, it's very likely Stiles already has a relationship with his anchor." Deaton states
"You guys do know I'm sitting right here."
"The spark has been dormant, but always a part of him. The shapeshifter likely keyed in on that subconsciously and has stayed close since, not even knowing why they felt compelled to do so. The draw to stay near and protect him will only be stronger now, impossible to ignore."
"Well, there are a lot of us around; Stiles' whole life is practically full of shapeshifters." Scott points out.
"What about you Scott? You and Stiles have been friends since you were little right?" Lydia looks to Deaton for his thoughts.
He shakes his head. "It is unlikely that Scott is Stiles' anchor, he was not born a werewolf; he was bitten."
"Guys. Really? Did I fucking become invisible? You're talking about me here, shouldn't I have some kind of input?" Stiles finally stand from his seat, a buzzing in the air surrounding him. "You literally stick me in the corner and argue about something that should be on me to decide." The light over the examination table flicker. "You act like I'm not even here or like I can't make the right call about this!"
"Stiles, I need you to calm down. We meant nothing by it. Of course this is you decision to make." Deaton hold his hands up to Stiles, keeping his voice calm as if he were dealing with a wounded animal. "This is just all very big, and it needs to be handled in a certain manner."
"And that manner includes shutting me out? When I'm right here!" There's a snap and a pop sound that fills the room as glass from behind Stiles rains down to the floor. He throws his hands over his head as a pair of hands yanks him from the falling shards, pushing him toward the doorway.
"That's enough!" Derek snarls, his growl leaving no room for further discussion. He stands protectively in front of Stiles, his eyes shifting from one face to the next. "This," He waves his hand at the trio in front of him. "Isn't helping."
"Derek-" Scott start but he is cut off by Derek's shaking head.
"No. Stiles is right, this is his call." He turns around, placing a hand on Stiles' bicep. "Come on Stiles."
"Derek, you can't just force him to go with you." Lydia narrows her eyes at the alpha.
"Oh," Stiles starts, looking around Derek. "So you guys, who are supposed to be my best friends, can talk like I'm not sitting six feet away and make decisions about my life but when Derek, of all people, wants to take me away from a situation that is obviously stressing me out you have a problem? Why? Cause Derek bad, Scott and Lydia good? Bullshit!"
"Stiles," Derek says calmly, his hand squeezing his shoulder gently. "Try to relax, okay." Stiles closes his eyes, nodding as he takes a deep breath. The buzzing in the air softens to a quiet hum as Derek runs his hand up and down Stiles' upper arm. "You're okay." He says quietly.
"Can we go?" Stiles asks softly, eyes still closed.
Derek nods. "Yeah, come on."
Stiles turns toward the doorway with Derek's guiding hand pressed between his shoulder blades.
"Derek. We haven't finished our discussion yet."
Derek whips his head around, his eyes flashing red. "Yes Deaton, we have." He growled, turning back to Stiles and ushering him forward. "Let's go Stiles." He says with a much softer edge to his voice.
They leave Deaton, Lydia, and Scott in the back room of the clinic as Derek and Stiles walk out to the parking lot. They both walk over to the black Camaro at the end of the parking lot, causing Derek to throw Stiles a curious look as he passed his blue Jeep.
"Dude, my hands are still shaking from whatever the hell I did in there. I'm afraid I'll run off the road." Derek only nods, accepting Stiles's explanation without question, and reaches out to open the passenger door for him without him having to actually request a ride. Stiles smiles sheepishly. "Thanks."
Derek eases the door closed once Stiles in settled inside and rounds the front of the car to get behind the wheel. He sticks the key in the ignition and brings the car to life. The head light turn on and shine on Scott standing outside the clinic, looking like a kicked puppy.
"Do you want to talk to him?" Derek asked, turning to look at Stiles.
He meets Derek's gaze and shakes his head. "Not right now, not tonight. Let's just go."
"Okay." Derek pulls out of the parking lot and onto the road. They drive in silence for a few minutes, the soft hum that had surrounded Stiles in the clinic now completely gone. "Did you want to stop and get something to eat?"
"No, I'll be fine."
"You should probably eat something. I know we don't know much about this whole Spark thing but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it feeds off your own energy. You look wrecked and it's not even 6 yet."
"I do have school and stuff you know. And I haven't exactly been sleeping great. So if I look wrecked it's because of that not this Spark crap."
"What do you mean you're not sleeping?" Derek glances at Stiles with a frown. Stiles merely shrugs as a way of response as he averts his eyes out the side window. "Stiles?" Derek presses when nothing else is said. "Stiles." He says more firmly.
“It’s nothing.” Stiles says, waving his hand dismissively.
“Well that’s a lie.”
“Goddamn wolf hearing.” Stiles mumbles with a sigh. “Fine. I’m getting like two hours of sleep if I’m lucky; I always wake up in a panic. Sometimes I don’t know where I am, sometimes I’m calling out for my mom or dad…or to...Allison.” Stiles pauses for a moment, staring at his hand in his lap. “It’s always a nightmare, but not really you know? Cause how can you call it a nightmare when its something that actually happened.”
“It’s every night?”
Derek pulls off the road, unexpectedly, into the parking lot of a small diner.
"What the-Derek, what are you doing?”
“Getting you something to eat that isn’t just peanut butter and jelly. Come on.”
Stiles gapes at Derek, unmoving. “Really, I’m fine. I’m not even hungry.”
Derek meets Stiles’ eyes, his gaze dropping to the boy’s stomach as it rumbles. “No?” He asked with a raised eyebrow. “Look, you’re not sleeping, you’re eating like shit. This is how you get sick.”
“So, you’re going to buy me a burger so I don’t get sick?”
“No. I’m going to but you a grilled chicken salad, so you don’t get sick. Enough with the grease. Now come, let’s go.”
Stiles glared at Derek but opened his door and climbed out of the car. “Since you obviously won’t let this go, fine. But I a least want curly fires.”
Derek rolled his eyes, climbing out of the car. “Fine.” He walks around the car, Stiles falling in step next to him with a triumphant smile plastered on hi face. “But you get water or nothing.”
Derek shrugs, opening the door and letting Stiles go in ahead of him. “What’s wrong with water?”
“Nothing.” Stiles enters the diner with Derek right behind him. They’re lead to a booth in the back corner of the diner, sliding into the table across from each other. “I’m fine with water.”
“Then what’s with the dramatic response?”
“No one’s ever been so careful with my eating habits. Well, not since my mom…I’m usually on my dad’s ass about his diet.”
Derek nodded. They each picked up their menus, looking them over in a comfortable silence for a few moments be for Derek spoke. “Laura was practically a hawk after the fire, worse then my mom ever was.” He said with a small fond smile as he looked at his menu.
Stiles glanced up, surprised to hear Derek speaking about his family. “Yeah?” Was all he could manage to reply with, though he wanted to say more. He wanted Derek to feel like he could open up to someone, anyone, about his family. He always thought that it must have always been so hard to carry around the weight and grief of what happened all these year and never talk about it to anyone. He wanted to ask questions, get him talking more but he was afraid to push him and make him shut down.
“Mmhm.” Derek hummed. “I wasn’t a big junk food kid but like anyone I had a few weaknesses. There was this small shop in town, long gone now, that had the best empanadas. I could eat them all day long and would if given the chance. But Laura practically outlawed them. If she couldn’t see the ingredients it was made with we didn’t eat it.”
Derek’s smile grew, Stiles found he couldn’t help but match it. “That’s crazy, empanadas aren’t even that bad.”
Derek chuckled. “Yeah, well they aren’t that good either. Nothing is healthy when you deep fry it.”
“True. But they’re awesome. I got myself on a Spanish food kick for a bit. I couldn’t find any good empanadas anywhere, which was a total buzz kill, so I checked online for some recipes and just made them myself. They were kind of awesome; either that or I was just hungry. I was probably just hungry, speaking of which- Hey there, great timing!” Stiles grinned up at the waiter who’d arrived at their table. “Could I get a grilled chicken salad and a side of curly fries?” The waiter nodded then turned to Derek.
“I’ll have an egg omelet with spinach, and two waters please. Thank you.” With a smile, Derek handed his and Stiles’ menus over.
Silence falls between them again, Stiles starts to pick at his paper place met while his leg shakes nervously beneath the table.
“Yeah?” Derek could sense Stiles’ anxiety building.
“I…I don’t think I can go home tonight.”
Stiles shakes his head, ripping his napkin into little bits. “Scott or Lydia will just show up, if they haven’t already and I just…I don't want to talk to them right now. Clearly, they don't really want to talk to me. That was proven earlier.”
“They’re just worried, we all are.”
Stiles gives Derek a dubious look. “Even you?” He asks before he can stop himself.
“Is that so hard to believe?”
Stiles shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess kind of, a little bit maybe. I mean I know I’m not your favorite person, so I’d get it.”
“So, because you think I don’t like you that means I’d never be worried about you?” Stiles looked down at his hand, still picking at the napkin, shrugging again. “You’re sort of an idiot for someone so smart, you know that?”
“What?” Stiles asks, mouth hanging open.
“You talk too much sometimes, and you have a way of getting under my skin that even Cora could never manage, but Stiles I like you just fine.”
Derek rolled his eyes. “Yes.”
“And you’re worried about me? With this whole Spark thing?”
Derek shook his head. “No, at least not in the way Scott or Lydia are. You’re smart, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. I’m more worried about you as a whole.”
Stiles tilted his head, looking at Derek in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“I…well I didn’t want to ask, I didn’t want to push you; you were dealing with a lot. Honestly, you talk so much about everything and anything I figured it would come up sooner or later. You talk about everything, except the things that matter; it’s sort of frustrating.”
“Kind of like waiting for you to get to the point?” Stiles quips.
Derek smirked, leaning forward with his elbows resting on the table. “Funny. Everyone was so worried about Scott or Lydia or Chris after everything happened a few months ago.” Stiles nodded, looking away again. He didn’t need Derek to elaborate to know what he was referring to. “Which I understood, but you dealt with a hell of a lot more. I tried to keep an eye on you, make sure you were doing okay. You pulled back a lot, I don’t know if anyone really noticed because physically you were there, but your mind clearly wasn’t.”
“You noticed that?”
“I can’t seem to not notice things about you, it’s sort of strange actually.”
The waiter comes then, pausing their conversation as their meals are laid down in front of them. The eat in a companionable silence until Stiles breaks once he's almost finished eating, picking at his curly fries as he speaks.
“I’m okay by the way.”
Derek raised his eyes to look at Stiles, who’s staring intently at his plate of fries. “Wolf hearing.” He says, as if to remind Stiles he can’t lie to him.
Stiles smirks. “Right. Fine, so I’m not totally okay. But it’s fine, I’m dealing.”
“You’re having nightmares and getting maybe 2 hours of sleep.”
“Is that not good?” He says with a laugh. Derek sits his fork down, narrowing his eyes at him. “Right, no. Of course its not. Look I just don’t want anyone to be worrying about my mental state after being possessed by an evil chaos demon spirit thing. I did- it did a lot of terrible things. Things that shouldn’t be forgotten. Or forgiven.”
“None of what happened is on you, Stiles.”
“I was weak, Derek. An easy target.”
“Stiles, you did an incredible thing to save your dad; a dangerous thing. And it left a darkness in you that allowed that thing to worm its way into your mind. You weren’t an easy target and you weren’t weak. The nogitsune attached itself to that darkness and slowly feed on it until it was able to over power you, and you’re incredibly stubborn so I don’t think you made it easy on the thing. You weren’t an easy target and you weren’t weak. Don’t ever think you’re weak.”
Stiles stared wide eyed at Derek. “I’m just some human though, compared to you I am weak.”
Derek reached across the table, a serious look on his face, and took Stiles’ hand without a second thought as if it were the most normal thing he could do. “You are a lot of things Stiles, but weak is definitely not one of them. Don’t sell yourself short.” He smiles softly at him, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. “If you’re not ready to go home, you can crash at the loft. I’ll bring you to get the Jeep tomorrow.” Stiles nodded, unable to find his voice. He was doing a lot of that tonight.
“Ready to go?” Again, the only answer to come was a nod. “Alright.” Derek said, letting go of Stiles’ hand with a soft smile. “Let’s go.”
Chapter 2: Meanwhile, back at the clinic
Scotts a bit of a jerk, but that doesn't last long.
Deaton knows things that be should maybe think about sharing with everyone.
“Well, that certainly was interesting.” Deaton stated. “Wasn’t it?”
Lydia raises a questioning eyebrow at the vet. “You don’t sound surprised.”
“He left in Derek’s car. He wouldn’t even look at me.” Scott says as he reenters the clinics examination room. “He’s never been this mad at me and for him to go off with Derek?”
“Of course, he’d go with Derek, I suspected as much. But if I’m completely forth coming, I didn’t think Derek would act so aggressively, at least not yet. It would seem that he has already accepted his role in Stiles’ life.”
“Wait,” Scott asks, looking from Lydia to Deaton. “What role?”
“He’s his anchor, Scott. Isn't he?” Lydia says, eyes falling on Deaton.
“What? How can you know that? Are you sure?”
Deaton nods, crossing his arms over his chest. “I am quite certain actually. I’ve been carefully watching all of you who could potentially be Stiles’s anchor from the moment the Spark came alive. You were ruled out well before anyone else as you were not born a werewolf. Really that only left Malia, Peter, and Derek. Of course I thought of Malia first; Peter has not been around enough to show that he has a pull toward the Spark. And there was always the chance that his anchor just hasn’t found their way to Beacon Hills, but it’s unlike since his Spark is now very much active.”
“What about Malia? You said you thought of her first, are you not thinking it could be her now? She and Stiles are always together.” Scott leaned over, bracing his hands on the edge of the table, as the words tumble out of his mouth.
“Yes, and up until tonight I thought she very well could have been Stiles’ anchor.”
“But Derek was never completely off the table?” Lydia questioned with a cocked eyebrow, Deaton nodded his confirmation. “And he’s around Stiles probably just as much as Malia, so it was down to the two of them.”
“And I was beginning to lean toward Malia because of their relationship.”
“But she left tonight, went back home and Derek-”
“And Derek stayed.” Scott finished Lydia’s thought. He stepped back from the table, wiping his hand down his face. “And then he got all super protective.”
“Honestly, I wasn’t including Stiles in the discussion because I thought it might have triggered a reaction out of him that would help to confirm my thoughts.”
“He busted your light!” Scott exclaimed, waving his hand out over the broken glass on the ground. “He could have hurt himself!”
“It gave the necessary reaction.”
“You were testing Derek.” Lydia said flatly. “You wanted to see what he would do.”
“I was gauging his reaction to confirm my suspicions.”
“So you baited Stiles, pushed him knowing he doesn’t have a clue how this Spark works or how to control it all to test a theory? Scott’s right, Stiles could have been hurt!”
“I wouldn’t have done it if I thought there was a real danger to Stiles or any of us. True, he cannot yet control the Spark but it is also not strong enough to cause any real harm. It’s new and weak, just like any other muscle in the body it needs to be worked a little to gain strength; work and time. The broken light is about as much damage as he can inflict for the moment. And I was fairly certain that Derek would be able to rein him back in; he responded impressively.”
“Ugh.” Scott groaned, carding his fingers through his hair. “Okay…okay. So, Derek is Stiles’ anchor. What does this all mean then? Are they like best friends now? Is Derek like his own private secret service?”
“An anchor is more than just the thing to aide in Stiles’ control, Scott. A Sparks anchor is their complete and total other half; one cannot exist without the other.”
“Derek is drawn to Stiles in a way no one else will ever be. He will offer his protection, ensure he is healthy, and give Stiles comfort where no else is able not even his father. This bond between them is for life and it will only grow stronger. Especially when the full moon rises and they’ve been marked.”
Scott shakes his head, trying to get his thoughts to fall in place. “None of this makes sense. I get that Derek will protect him, he’s kind of always done that like its second nature.” He says thoughtfully, a realization starting to sink in. “But the rest…the full moon is going to strengthen the bond? They’re going to be marked? What mark? What does that even mean? You’re talking like they’re soul mates or something.” Scott trails off softly, looking at Deaton’s soft expression.
Lydia sucks in a short, sharp breath. “Scott, I think that’s exactly what they are.”
“What? Lydia, no way. Stiles isn’t even gay, and neither is Derek.” His eyes fall to the ground, suddenly unsure if those words were true or not. His gaze travels back up to meet Deaton’s. “Deaton?”
The man sighs, his expression calm. “A Spark and their anchor don’t fall in line with the typical…rules. There is no straight or gay, they simply are. Their bond surpasses any menial label that is thrust upon them in a modern society. And the mark, that is something very intimate between a pair of mates that must take place during a full moon for it to be properly effective; it is something that links them and solidifies their bond. Not unlike the exchanging of rings and vows in a traditional wedding; they belong to each other, sharing in strength and weakness.”
Scott carefully moves around the table, his shoes crunching in the glass despite his efforts. He slumps down on the stool Stiles had occupied just a few minutes ago. “Wow.” He says, trying to fully grasp the situation. “So, Stiles and Derek…really?”
Deaton turns to Scott, leaning back against the metal surface. “So it would seem.” He states calmly.
“Scott, why is this such a problem for you? You know Stiles has had a little crush on Derek since he came back, so really what’s the big deal?”
“Huh? What crush? Stiles doesn’t have crush on Derek; he’s with Malia.”
Lydia sighed, rolling her eyes dramatically. “Really Scott? How clueless are you? Or do you only see what you want to see? It’s really not a big deal, he just…his eyes linger half a second more than anyone else’s. It’s not so hard to catch and someone enhanced senses should have been able to see it.”
“But he’s not gay.” Scott said numbly.
“Maybe not, but he’s not straight either. Either way I have a hard time believing his sexual orientation is what you’re having trouble with. It’s the fact that its Derek, isn’t it?”
“I don’t care who Stiles is into, he’s my brother and I love him. But…Derek…we only just found common ground with him. We’ve been on opposite side for so long I just don’t see how Stiles can trust him so soon.”
“Did you think that maybe Stiles is the reason you all have come together? I told you before; Stiles’ anchor would have been drawn to him from the start even before the Spark surfaced. Derek is very perceptive; it’s likely that he knew what was going on before we even knew Stiles was a Spark. Derek is Stiles’ anchor, but it’s a two-way street.” Deaton explains with a thoughtful expression.
“You mean Stiles is Derek’s anchor too?” Lydia questions.
“That’s precisely what I mean. So, if Derek had sensed this he would have known that Stiles was his mate almost instantly, he would have wanted to stay near. Working through whatever issues lay between the two of you.”
“Us two; Derek and me? But why?”
“Because you’re Stiles’ best friend, idiot.”
Scott shoots Lydia a glare, frowning at her to which she shrugs in response.
“You’re important to Stiles; Stiles is important to Derek. He would know he would need to make things right in order for there to be a future with Stiles.” Silence fills the examination room as the weight of Deaton’s words settles in the air around them.
After a long moment, Scott is the first to break the silence. “So you really think that Derek sensed something in Stiles, before the pull from the Spark started to flare up?”
Deaton nods. “I do. He’s very well informed in regards to the supernatural world and he follows the instincts of his wolf; that is what Talia would have taught him. Trusting your wolf is a very important lesson taught to young werewolves as they are coming into their own. Derek would have felt something tugging him toward Stiles, the flare of a bond that only mates have, and it wouldn’t have taken him long to figure out what it was. From what I understand, the connection is formed the moment mates meet; it’s something that is felt deep within ones’ bones.”
“He was kind of mean to Stiles in the beginning, really short with him and mostly acted like his being around was a major inconvenience.” Scott pointed out.
“The aggression toward Stiles in the beginning was likely a negative reaction to Derek’s resisting the bond as it tried to form. His wolf would have been itching to be closer to Stiles, the more Derek resisted the more hostile his wolf would have become. Putting him on edge and making him irritable; it’s lucky he has such good control over his shift because that would have been a nightmare. He eventually became more docile when it came to Stiles though; when was that?”
Scott nodded but Lydia filled the silence. “Right, after he and Stiles found out Peter was the alpha. Stiles was inside the hospital with Peter alone, Derek was out in the car when he figured it out. He saved Stiles; if he hadn’t been there…”
“Peter would have killed him.” A shiver runs down Scott’s spine at the memory.
“That’s when he accepted Stiles for what he was. The moment his mate was in danger he couldn’t help but react. Whatever convictions he had no longer mattered. His one and only goal was to protect Stiles at all cost, even if it meant facing an alpha alone; even if that alpha turned out to be his only surviving family.”
Deaton ended further discussion by leaving the room to tend to the animals currently at the clinic for treatment. Scott and Lydia let him finish his work, leaving shortly after he disappeared in to the kennel room.
They walked out into the night air, Scotts eyes falling on the blue Jeep still sitting in the parking lot. Lydia placed a gentle hand on his arm and smiling softly. “He’ll be fine, you know he will. By tomorrow you two will have made up and everything will be back to normal.”
Scott nods, giving Lydia a weak, tentative smile. “It’s just…I mean Derek and Stiles?”
Lydia laughs softly, nodding eagerly at him. “I know! You think they’re even aware? I mean Deaton seems pretty certain Derek is, but we know Stiles can be pretty oblivious to stuff regarding his own life. He’s pretty stupid for someone so smart.”
Scott shrugs, grabbing his helmet off the back of his dirt bike. “He’ll think he’s over thinking whatever happened tonight, the whole thing with Derek jumping in to defend him. He’ll tell himself it’s not anything that it was just some thing that happened and then he’ll freak himself out. Then I’ll have to talk him down. Eventually he’ll get there, maybe by next Friday?”
Lydia snorts, shaking her head with a smile. “Probably, hey…what do you think his dad will say about all of this?”
Scott threw his leg over the seat of his bike, settling onto the cushion. “About Stiles dating a guy or whatever this end up being? Nothing probably, but when he finds out that guy happens to have been a murder suspect, twice, and was arrested a number of times? That, he might have a small problem with.”
Chapter 3: Mild freak outs and a considerate wolf…
Stiles let his thought run out of control, getting himself worked up thinking about his anchor. Derek does what he can to keep Stiles calm and relaxed, comforting him when his worries get to be too much.
Derek and Stiles sat in the diners parking lot for several long, drawn out, minutes in silence; Derek waited patiently in the driver seat for Stiles to tell him what he wanted to do and where he wanted to be taken.
“I don’t know!” Stiles groaned, leaning forward, burring his face in his hands. “I’m sorry, you’re being really cool just sitting here while I try to figure my shit out.”
“Stiles, it’s fine. Take your time, but you do have to decide something; we can’t really stay here all night.”
“That would be awesome,” Stiles mutters, his voice muffled but his hands. “So many curly fries…so many; and they’d be so close, just right there.”
Derek shakes his head with a smirk. “You don’t want to go home right? Not yet?” Stiles nods his head in his hands. He reaches over, placing a hand on the nape of the boys’ neck moving his thumb back and forth in a soothing motion on the exposed skin. The tension in Stiles’ shoulders melts away at the touch, filling him with a comfort and ease he didn’t know he could feel. “Okay. So, if you didn’t want to stay at the loft I could take you to Malia’s or-”
“No.” Stiles says quickly, lifting his head from his hands to look at Derek. “I don’t…I can’t go see her.” Derek nods, letting Stiles return to his thoughts. They sit for a few more minutes, Stiles with his head practically between his knees while Derek massaged his neck to try and keep him relaxed, as he leaned his head back against the head rest.
“The loft.” Stiles says finally, surprising Derek a little at the suddenness of the statement. Stiles sits up, Derek’s hand sliding down his back a few inches. “If that still okay still.” He looks at Derek with worried eyes, fearing he pushed his luck with him too far to night and the offer was already taken back in the silence that had fallen in the car.
Derek smiled and gave him a nod. “You sure?”
Stiles sagged with relief. “Yeah, honestly I think that’s the only place I want to be right now. Despite your welcoming personality, I always feel safe there.” Stiles’ eyes meet Derek’s, he feels heat creeping up into his cheeks and turns his head away, clearing his throat. “Sounds stupid but…yeah.”
Derek shakes his head fondly, giving Stiles’ shoulder a gentle squeeze as he removes his hand from his back. “It’s not stupid, Stiles.”
He puts the car in drive and heads away from the diner, toward the loft. Stiles keeps his thoughts to himself during the short ride back to the loft, letting silence fill the car again. Derek seems content to let them travel quietly, which Stiles’ is grateful for; this calm, understanding Derek was not the Derek he was used to and Stiles wasn’t sure how much more of it he could handle.
Is he being weird? He’s being weird…right. Maybe I’m being weird. But what’s with the touching? And why does it work? That doesn’t feel weird, but it should feel weird. Why doesn’t it feel weird? I sort of hate the word ‘weird’.
Oh God…what if Peter is my support beam…no, not beam. What is it? Anchor, right. What if I’m going to be latched on to a literal nuke! I can’t deal with Peter like that, no way. But he’s not really around, so probably not right? But he could be playing it cool. But it’s probably Malia; I mean she’s my girlfriend so that would make sense. ‘Cause I mean…it couldn’t be Derek, that’s just like too insane. But then why didn’t I want to go to Malia’s?’
Stiles was so wrapped up in his thoughts he didn’t notice they’d stopped driving and were sitting outside Derek’s building. The alpha places a tentative hand on his shoulder, startling Stiles causing him to leap off the seat slamming his head against the roof as he flailed away from the sudden contact.
“What the- FUCK! OW!” Stiles rubbed the top of his head, wincing. His eyes travels to his left, falling on an amused looking Derek. He narrowed his eyes at him in a glare.
“Hey, don’t get pissed at me.” Derek said with his hands raised up. “I tried getting your attention three times.”
Stiles rolled his eyes, rubbing his head as he opened the door and climbed out. “Well, you don’t have to look so damned amused. So, you caught me off guard, big whoop. You’re an alpha; that should be easy for you, so easy that you don’t find amusement in ones injury!” He says to the man climbing out of the other side of the car, slamming his door closed. “I could have a concussion! I might be concussed Derek! You hear that?! Con. Cussed.”
Derek rolled his eyes, walking around the front of the car. “Don’t be dramatic, you are not concussed. You just bumped your head.”
Stiles glares at Derek as he walks up to him. “You don’t know that.” Stiles points a finger at him. “You’re not a doctor.”
Derek smacks the hand in his face away, placing his hands on either side of Stiles’ head and tilting it down. He looks at the spot Stiles had been rubbing, running a hand over it to double check. Satisfied there was no more than a small bump forming on the top of his head, Derek places his hands back to either side of Stiles’ face tipping his head back up. “You’ll live; there probably won’t even be a bump in the morning.” Derek lets his hands drop to his side after a moment, then he turns to enter the building. Stiles stares after him, his heart beating a little fast than normal. Derek stops at the entrance to the building and looks back to Stiles. “You coming?” He askes with a quirked eyebrow.
Stiles blinks, pink rising up the back of his neck, reaching the tips of his ears; he shakes his head, clearing his mind.
Totally insane. He thinks.
“Uh, yeah I’m coming.” Stiles strides up beside Derek who gives him a curious look.
“Maybe you do have a concussion.”
Stiles rolls his eyes and bumps against Derek’s shoulder as he passes by him and enters the building.
They head up the stair to the loft, chattering idly as they go; once they are outside Derek’s door, Stiles steers the conversation in a more real direction, unable to tamp his thoughts and worries down any longer.
“What if its Peter?” He blurts out.
Derek pauses, his hand on the door as he pulls it open. “Peter?” He asks tightly, Stiles nods. Shaking his head, Derek speaks again. “It’s not Peter, Stiles. We haven’t even heard from him in months, let alone seen him.” Derek enters the wide-open space of his loft, Stiles close behind him.
“That doesn’t mean it’s not him. If I’m tided up with him and his shit, I’ll be completely out of control.”
“Why do you say that?” Derek asks curiously.
“Think about it,” Stiles begins, perching himself on the kitchen counter while Derek pulls out two water bottles from the fridge, passing one over to him. Stiles smiles his thanks, taking a hearty sip from the bottle. Derek watches him carefully, leaning against the counter opposite him. “My anchor or whatever is supposed to like, keep me grounded and calm, right? Like maybe I sort of feed off of their calming vibes or something. Okay, so when is Peter ever calm? He’s constantly power hungry and if Peter is my anchor he’d figure out a way to push me to use this power I apparently have somewhere inside me for his own satisfaction.” Stiles goes quiet, looking down while playing with the hem of his shirt nervously. “He’d use me.” He says in almost a whisper, fear laced in every word.
Derek’s brow furrows, his shoulders sagging as he looks at Stiles. “But he’s not your anchor, Stiles. You have to believe that; if you start thinking about all the ‘what-if’s’ you’ll lose your mind.”
“But he could be Derek.” He says, desperation in his tone as he looks back to Derek with shining eyes, silently pleading with him to help and make the dreadful feeling consuming him disappear.
Derek pushed of the counter, crossing the distance between them in a few short strides. He wraps his arms around Stiles, pulling him close with his head tucked under his chin. Stiles brings his arms around Derek’s torso automatically, his cheek pressed against his chest.
“Do you trust me?” He asks; Stiles nods silently without hesitation. “Then trust that I know Peter isn’t your anchor, not just think Stiles; I know. It is not Peter. And if by some bizarre twist of fate I’m actually wrong, I won’t let him use you or take advantage of your power.”
Stiles squeezes Derek, his eyes shut tight feeling the prickly burn of unshed tears. “Promise?” He whispers, sounding like a small, frightened child.
Derek rubs circles along the boys spine, feeling his anxiety rise and trying his best to sooth it away. “I promise Stiles. No one will ever hurt or take advantage of you.”
Derek holds Stiles against him for a while, letting the fear and anxiety disintegrate from his body. Once he’s satisfied Stiles will no longer obsess about Peter and his heart rate leveled off, Derek slowly pulls back only to find that Stiles was moving with him, sound asleep.
“Stiles.” Derek said gently, rubbing his back in an attempt to rouse him. “Stiles?”
Stiles groaned, snuggling in closer to the warmth Derek provided, forcing him to step forward to keep the boy from falling to the ground. “I told you that you needed sleep.” He tells the unconscious body against him smugly. “Okay, well you can’t sleep sitting on the counter…well, I have a feeling you could sleep anywhere.” Derek mumbles.
He slides his hand lower on Stiles’ back, shifting him so that his head was resting on his shoulder and hooks an arm under Stiles’s knees. The boys head lolls back as he is scooped up off the counter with ease. Derek walks to the other side of the loft, to the far end, and gently lays Stiles down on the bed, pulling the covers over him as he settles on his side mumbling incoherently; something about bossy and mean eyebrows. Derek shakes his head, smiling ruefully down at him. He seats himself on the edge of the bed for a moment, Stiles turning in his sleep toward him. Derek reached forward, carding his fingers through the unruly locks that make up Stiles’ hair.
“Come on Stiles, you’re smart. You can figure this out. The answer is right there.” He says softly to Stiles’ sleeping form. “You just have to let yourself see it.”
Derek gazes down at Stiles for a moment longer before rising from the bed and making up the couch for himself.
Stiles dreams for the first time in a long time; no nightmares.
Just talkative eyebrow, leather jackets, and black cars.
Chapter 4: Breakfast dangers and an angry wolf…
Making breakfast is a dangerous task, hot pans burn. Who knew?
Stiles is a bit dense. But he's only thinking logically. Derek gets mad.
Everyone leaves or hangs up on Stiles.
What the fuck is everyone's deal?
Stiles rolls over onto his back, stretching his arms out at his sides as he arched slightly off the mattress. He squints his eyes, looking to his right and tilting his head slightly in confusion. “That’s not where my window is.” He mumbles to himself.
Stiles sits up slowly, staring at the early morning sun illuminating the sky with soft pinks and pale oranges. He turns to sweep his gaze across the room, still unsure where he is; he feels calm despite that. His eyes find a long black couch a few feet away with a sleeping figure laying on it. The person turns in their sleep, repositioning to face the bed allowing Stiles to see their face.
“Oh.” He whispers upon seeing Derek’s peacefully sleeping face. “Right.” Stiles looks down, seeing his legs tangles in the sheets, Derek’s sheets; on Derek’s bed.
“I’m in Derek’s bed.” His eyes widen at the thought, suddenly feeling embarrassed.
He slides himself out of the black clade bed, ‘Of course his sheets are black.’, and stands by the side of the bed awkwardly for a minute. He reaches down, straightening the rumpled bedding then quietly tip-toes past the couch and the sleeping alpha, into the kitchen.
He pokes his head into the fridge to survey its contents. He smiles seeing a carton of eggs and a package of bacon; he pulls them out and sets them on the counter. Going back to the fridge, Stiles finds some cheese and a couple red peppers which he pulls out to add to the eggs. He takes a look around, gauging where he would find the cookware in the werewolf’s kitchen. He finds large spoons and spatulas in a metal container tucked in the corner on the counter, a frying pan in the sink, which he washed quickly, and a baking sheet and rack in a draw under the stove. On chance, he opens the draw to the right of the sink and finds the utensils sitting neatly in a draw organizer and in the cabinet overhead are plates and bowls.
He sets the cast-iron frying pan on one of the burners, turning it on to heat the pan slowly and set the oven to preheat for the bacon. As everything heats up, Stiles gets to work on the eggs starting with dicing up the peppers before cracking a few eggs into the bowl and whisking them with a fork. Once the eggs are scrambled he adds the peppers and rips up the cheese he found to add to the bowl. He opens the pack of bacon, placing the stripes onto the baking rack he set into the baking sheet and sliding it into the oven. Stiles mixes the eggs a little more, looking at them with a frown. He goes back to the cabinets, looking for the one that holds the spices only to find it on the other side of the fridge.
“Damn werewolf.” Stiles grumbles to himself. “Spices should be by the stove.” He mutters as he shakes in a bit of black pepper.
The smell of bacon begins to fill the loft, creeping over to the couch where Derek begins to stir, his nose twitching at the new scent filing the air.
Stiles pours the contents of the bowl into the heated pan, sizzling and popping as they pool across the pan. He works to get them cooked evenly, stirring the eggs in the pan with the spatula. He let them sit a minute, allowing them to brown slightly, and grabs an oven mitt from a hook on the side of the stove. Peaking at the bacon, he sees that it looks just a little well done to give it the crunch that he loves. He pulls the baking sheet out and sets it to the side as he finishes the eggs.
Stiles grabs two plates and places four stripes of crispy bacon on one for himself and the remaining six on the other plate for Derek.
“Are you cooking?” Derek calls sleepily from the couch as he sits up to stretch.
“That’s usually why one would smell bacon, big guys.” Stiles says with a smirk.
He spoons some eggs to his plate then a larger helping onto Derek’s because, werewolf.
Derek pads over to the kitchen, plugging in the coffee maker as he passes it. “I’m not going to get food poisoning am I?” He asks, leaning against the counter with his arms across his bare chest.
Stiles rolls his eyes. “I’m a good cook, thank you very much! And can werewolves even get food poisoning?” He says, picking up Derek’s plate. He turns around, facing Derek to hand him his helping; his cheeks flushing upon seeing Derek in only a pair of pants hanging loosely on his hips. “Uh, here.” He says, averting his gaze and quickly turning back to the counter.
Stiles, now flustered for reasons he just can’t seem to grasp, and really doesn't want to think about right now, goes right to the stove to turn everything off. He grabs the, still hot, baking sheet and the red hot handle of the cast-iron pan at the same time. “Stiles, wait!” Derek yells, thrusting his plate to the counter and reaching out to Stiles before he touches the heated items on the stove.
Stiles’s hands have already each grasped an item before Derek’s warning can reach his brain. There is a split second before the pain registers in Stiles’ mind, and in the brief moment he’s turning to Derek with a question on his lips as he see the man lunge for him. The moment passes quickly and Stiles’ eyes go wide and it hurts.
“Fuck!” He yells, his hands releasing the baking sheet and frying pan to the floor right at his bare feet. Derek is quick to grab Stiles around the waist and pull him back before the cookware makes contact, narrowly missing his feet. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Stiles cries out, bringing his hands to his chest, keeping his eyes squeezed shut, praying that will make the pain go away.
Derek pushes him over to the couch, forcing him to sit. He tries to pull Stiles’ hand out to look at it but he keeps them tight to his chest and shakes his head. “Stiles.” Derek places a gentle hand around his wrist, the other reaching up to the side of his face as he kneels in front of him. “Let me see.”
“No. It hurts. Fuck, does it hurt!” Stiles rocks back and forth, tears falling from his clenched eyes.
“I know.” Derek says softly, giving his wrist a coaxing tug. “But I need to see, okay? I need to see how bad they are; if I need to bring you to the hospital. Come on.”
Stiles relaxes the muscles in his arms, letting Derek pull his one hand forward. He looks down at it with him, whimpering slightly as Derek carefully uncurls his fingers. He inspects the reddening flesh of Stiles’ right hand, spotting a few places it was sure to blister but it wasn’t too bad. He reaches up for the other, checking it cautiously in the same manner.
“It’s not too bad, you won’t need to go to the hospital but it’s going to hurt for a couple days.”
“It hurts now.” Stiles whines.
“I know.” Derek holds each of Stiles’ wrists, his raw palms facing the ceiling. Stiles watches curiously, through blurred vision thanks to his tears, as Derek’s eyes fall shut and his forehead creases in concentration.
“What are you-” His question hangs in the air, unfinished as black veins work up through Derek’s arms and the pain eases to a dull ache.
Derek opens his eyes a moment later, rubbing his thumb at Stiles’ pulse point. “There, that should last a few hours. I should have some gauze to wrap your hands with to keep them protected while they heal. This one,” He says, lifting Stiles’ right hand. “Will blister a little. Don’t pick at it. The pan was still heating on the burner when you grabbed it; the baking sheet thankfully had cooled a bit so the left hand isn’t bad at all.”
Stiles frowns at his hands. “My pan at home never burned me. Your stuff is protesting my existence.”
“It’s cast-iron, the whole thing heats up pretty evenly; the handle too. You have to be careful.”
Derek rolls his eyes. “Whatever you say. Wait here, I’ll be right back.” He stands up to grab the first aid kit from the bathroom. Stiles narrows his eyes at his hands, poking a finger at one of the especially tender spots of his right hand. He hisses and pulls his body away, as if the action would remove him from the pain. “Don’t. Touch!” Derek hollers.
“I didn’t!” Stiles yells back.
“Right,” Derek says, emerging from the bathroom approaching the couch. “So that noise you made is completely normal? Not a sound expressing pain from touching your hand when I literally just told you not to?”
Stiles looked behind him, over the back of the couch, glaring at Derek as he came around. “No. It was just a noise, not even a noise really; just a sound, practically a breath. Besides, you said don’t pick. I didn’t pick. I poked.”
Derek hums, sitting beside Stiles on the couch, turned toward him with a leg tucked under his body. “Turn.” He says. Stiles twists to face him, mirroring his position. “Palms up. This will sting a little.” Stiles nods, holding his hands palm up out to Derek. He takes one, gently pulling it forwards and spraying an antiseptic solution over the burn. Stiles’ muscles tense and he resist the urge to pull his hand from Derek’s hold, away from the stinging sensation.
“Fuck.” He hisses.
Derek shoots him an apologetic look. “Sorry.” He takes a square gauze pad and placed it in the palm of the out stretched hand, wrapping the gauze around it to keep it in place and secure.
Derek repeats the process on the other hand, Stiles watching his hands as he works. “Our food is cold now.” He mutters.
Derek leans back, releasing Stiles’ hands. “That’s okay. I don’t really do breakfast.”
“So you’re a get up and go kind of guy?” He says, inspecting his hands as he turns them over.
“Not really, I just usually run on coffee for the first few hours I’m up.”
Stiles nods, resting his head on the back of the couch. “I’m usually powered by Adderall and Coke.”
“You eat more than anyone I’ve ever seen.”
Stiles shrugs. “The Adderall makes me feel like I’m a bottomless pit. I burn a fuckton of calories so I’m like perpetually hungry. Anyway, maybe we could talk about something other than my amazing eating habits?”
Derek tilts his head curiously. “Sure, something in particular?”
“I just keep thinking about this anchor thing.”
“Yeah. You don’t think it’s Peter-”
“It’s not Peter.”
Stiles smirks at Derek’s exasperated tone. “Right. Okay so he’s been ruled out so now there’s really only one person I can think of, and it’s actually sort of the obvious choice, I guess.”
“You know it’s not a choice kind of thing, right?”
Stiles rolls his eyes. “Yes. I get that, just listen. There is only one person I can think it could be.”
Derek feels a flutter in his stomach; he sits up straighter and is staring intently as Stiles. “Yeah?” He prods, hoping he doesn’t sound eager.
Stiles nods. “Dude. Malia.”
Derek blinks, his mouth falling open slightly. “Malia?” He says flatly, slumping a little as his shoulder sag.
“Yeah, I mean I kind of feel dumb ever thinking it could be Peter. Malia’s my girlfriend and that all kind of happened around the time of this Spark business.”
“Malia.” Derek repeats. “You think you anchor is Malia?” He tries to keep his tone level, trying not to get frustrated at how wrong and stupid Stiles was being.
“Yeah man. Malia. Werecoyote. A little on edge, stupidly honest, trying to cope with life as a human, remember? It makes sense, she’d the logical option. Now maybe I can start to get a handle on this thing. Awesome right?” Stiles looks to Derek, his face falling at the lack of excitement seen on the other man’s face. “This is a good thing Derek. You look…I don’t know, not excited or relieved or anything.”
Derek gets up from the couch with a huff, saying nothing. Stiles scrunched his eyebrows together in confusion, watching him move to the kitchen. He grabs the frying pan and baking sheet, throwing them into the sink with an audible slam. He picks up the scattered utensils Stiles had used, dropping them carelessly in the sink with the pan, flipping the water on to let it run until it’s hot.
Stiles eases himself off the couch, slowly moving toward the kitchen and the apparently angry wolf working on the dirty dishes. “You’re angry?”
“I’m not angry.” Derek says, keeping his back to Stiles as he begins to scrub the dishes in the sink.
Stiles steps around the counter, leaning against it. “So you always slam dirty dishes into the sink then?” The muscles in Derek’s back tense. “What’s up?”
“Clearly.” Stiles huffs out.
Derek slams the pan he’d begun rinsing back into the sink, water splashing up on the counter and against the back wall, turning to Stiles with narrowed eyes. “What do you want me to say, Stiles? Congratulations, you might have found you’re anchor.”
“Dude, you’re angry about that? Seriously? How?! This is a good thing, Derek. Remember? Helps me keep control or whatever, what’s the problem here man? I don’t get it!”
Derek clenches his jaw, reaching behind him to shut the water off. “Of course you don’t.” He mumbles.
“Nothing.” Derek snaps, moving passed Stiles as he heads up the narrow spiral staircase. He comes back down a couple minutes later in a pair of dark jeans and a deep green Henley, grabbing his jacket off a nearby hook as he passes it and heads to the door.
“Wait, what happened to taking me back to get my Jeep?”
“Or maybe Malia can help you out.”
Derek wrenches open the heavy steel door, storming out of the loft without another word, leaving Stiles standing in the middle of the room utterly confused and clueless.
“What the actual fuck?” Stiles hesitates only a few minutes before pulling out his phone, suddenly fuming.
“The fuck, how is he pissed at me? The fuck did I do?” He grumbles to himself, pacing the floor as he calls Scott. “He’s fucking insane. He’s an asshole. A fucking asshole!”
“Shit!” Stiles fumbles with his phone, almost dropping it, when he hears Scott answer. “Sorry man, not you. Fucking Alpha McEyebrows Dickface. Dude just stormed off for no reason, leaving me stranded in his loft! The fuck, right?”
Scott clears his throat. “Oh, so you stayed at his place?”
“Yeah, I mean he offered and I wasn’t up for being at home and having you and Lydia just show up. No offense, still a little pissed at you guys but now I need a ride and need to get the fuck out of here. And you owe me, so I’m willing to let you off the hook if you come get me.”
“I can do that; mom’s got the night shift so I can borrow her car so you won’t have to get on the back of the bike.”
Stiles nods, looking around for his shoes. “Cool. So come get me, like 10 minutes ago.”
“Yeah, I’m on my way now.” Stiles sags in relief, hearing Scott grabbing a set of keys and heading out the door. “So what even happened with Derek?”
Stiles sighs, sinking down to the couch. “I don’t even know, man. One minute he’s fixing up my hands and I’m telling him about this amazing revelation I’ve had about this anchor crap, the next he’s slamming shit in the sink and storming off. I literally did nothing Scotty, I swear. I made the dude breakfast as a thank you.” Stile pauses. “Why wouldn’t he like Malia?” He asks curiously.
“Malia? What are you talking about?”
“I told him she’s most likely this anchor thing I need and I think that kind of set him off, but like I don’t know why.”
“You…you told him Malia is you anchor?”
“Dude. You incredible, clueless moron.”
“I’ll be there in 10, we’ll talk then.”
Scott hangs up, leaving Stiles glaring at his phone.
“Okay. Seriously. What. The. Fuck!”
Chapter 5: Unaccepted truths and dreams that follow…
More denial. Stiles is good at avoiding the problem until it goes away.
Sometimes, dreams have a deeper meaning.
Stiles gets a text from Scott when he’s just down the road, so he heads down to meet him outside. Scott waves to his best friend as he pulls up, unlocking the passenger door to let him in.
“Sup.” Stiles greets with a nod of his head as he pulls his door closed.
“Hey man, how’s it going?” Scott asked with a tentative smile.
“Fan-fucking-tastic.” He says, wiping a hand over his face.
“So, Derek freaked on you?”
“He went full bipolar. Seriously, I think he needs some professional help.” Stiles grumbled, leaning back in the seat.
Scott smirked slightly. “Walk me through everything, like just the bullet points from when you left with him last night.” He pulls the car back out onto the road, heading toward the center of town.
“Okay, well I got a ride from him because I couldn’t stop my hand from shaking. We got dinner- he made me eat a salad.” Stiles throws a disgusted look at Scott. “Wasn’t terrible, I guess. Whatever, I told him I wasn’t up for going home, he offered to let me crash at his place but I like froze in the car when we were leaving cause it seemed weird you know? But I didn’t want to go home, so I thought maybe I could have him take me to Malia’s but as soon as Derek suggested it I didn’t want to go there either. I was totally freaking out like all last night.”
“So you were going to go to Malia’s until Derek said something?”
Stiles shrugged. “I guess, that’s weird right? I don’t know, the whole night was weird because Derek was all nice and calm and shit and I don’t know how to handle that Derek. He was like…I don’t know…Like I was throwing myself a pity part at the diner when he just reached over and took my hand.”
“Hm. Weird.” Scott said flatly.
“Yeah, but what’s actually weird it that is wasn’t weird, like I wasn’t weirded out by it; it actually chilled me out.” I really hate the word weird. Stiles thinks to himself. “And back at the loft, I had half a panic attack thinking about the prospect of Peter being this anchor. Cause you know he’d find a way for me to fuck shit up for him, but Derek was completely sure that there was no way it was him. I wasn’t buying it though because how does he know, you know? I got really worked up, was on the edge of a panic attack but he was in front of me in seconds, pulling me into a hug and rubbing circle on my back like my dad used to do when I first started having them. The panic like melted away, dude, it was just gone.” Stiles gazes down at his bandaged hands. “I think I fell asleep on him.” He says after a moment.
Scott shot Stiles a confused look. “Like, standing in the middle of the loft?”
“No, I was sitting on the counter.” Stiles’ tone tells Scott that it should have been obvious. “I woke up in his bed, I guess he carried me or I stumbled there. I tried to make breakfast, like I told you. Burnt my hands a little.” He says, raising his hands up to show Scott the evidence.
“Yeah, I was going to ask about that.”
Stiles shrugged. “It’s no big deal, just some light burns; hurt like a mother though. Derek took some of the pain and wrapped them up, that’s around when I said something about Malia and he got all pissed off. Maybe because we don’t really know her or know much about her? He got weird, practically leapt off the couch and started throwing shit in the sink. Then got shitty with me, which I didn’t even do anything so…the fuck?!”
“You sound mad.” Scott points out curiously.
“I’m not mad! It’s just…fuck! Here I am, full of Spark shit, not knowing what the fuck to do. I figure out who this anchor might be, cause logically it should be Malia, and he’s pissed at me like I fucking wrecked his car or something. So no, I’m not mad! I’m frustrated because what does he even have to be mad about?! He’s an asshole, plain and simple.” Stiles crosses his arms over his chest, wincing slightly at the added pressure on his hands.
“Dude.” Scott says with a soft chuckle.
“What?!” Stiles snaps.
“You. You’re all bent out of shape over Derek getting mad.”
“Cause it’s ridiculous! I did nothingwrong. Nothing! And he gets to storm off? Leaving me stranded! Asshole!”
“Okay man, but…okay, Stiles. Think for a minute. Breath, clear your head and think. Why would he get upset? Why would you saying you found your anchor and its Malia set him off?”
Stiles slouches in the front seat, glaring out the windshield. “The fuck if I know, he’s a drama queen, obviously.”
“Oh yeah, he’s the drama queen.” Scott rolls his eyes. “Dude! Think!”
“I don’t know what you want from me Scotty. If you think you know something just say it, Spark does not mean mind reader, dude.”
“I can see that. You’re an idiot. I mean I’m pretty slow on a lot of things and honestly I didn’t believe it at first but once it was all laid out and I really thought about it, it was so obvious. Even more now, listening to you.”
“Scott, I swear to God. I’m getting a headache so if you could just spit it out, that’d be very helpful, kay bud?”
“Dude. It’s not Malia.”
Stiles turns to Scott, eyebrows knitted together. “What’s not Malia?”
“Seriously? Your anchor, it’s not her. It’s not Peter, thank God.”
“Ookaaayy…but that just leave-” Stiles’ eyes open wide and his mouth drops. “No! No way! How!? It cannot be Derek. He’s…he’s…”
“You’re sitting there saying things like you’ve probably found your anchor, that logically it’d be Malia. Like you’re trying to convince yourself of it because deep down you know it’s not true, you can feel it. And if she’s not the anchor that just leave one person. He’s been there for literally everything since I got bit and it all turned into a shit show. You even said, like two minutes ago, he pulled you back from a panic attack!”
“So what?! You’ve done that!”
“Not like that, not before it even hits you. Stiles, think about it, about how not weird him reaching out to you was. How comfortable you were with him, how relaxed you were. You lean on him without ever knowing it.” Scott pulls into the clinics lot, right next to the blue Jeep. He turns to his best friend, his face pleading with him to make the connection that everyone else had seen. “He got like, crazy protective last night. He helped you rein in the power you can’t control yet. We all saw it. You had to have felt it, felt something, Stiles. Anything.”
Stiles shakes his head, his cheeks turning pink. “You’re insane. There’s no way it’s Derek, all that shit is just a coincidence.”
“Stiles, Malia when home last night after we were looking for the Nemeton. She went home and Derek stayed. That was enough to convince Deaton.”
“So what if she went home? That doesn’t mean anything; she’s behind in school, she had to study. I don’t care what Deaton thinks.” Stiles moves to open the car door.
“Where are you going?” Scott groans.
Stiles climbs out of the car, leaning down to look at Scott. “Home, Scott. I’m going home. And you know what? Later I’ll probably go to Malia’s, because she’s my girlfriendand what better thing to anchor you than your girlfriend!”
“Can you even drive with your hands?”
“Fuck you Scott.” Stiles slam the door and hops into his Jeep, sighing in relief the he’d left the keys in the ignition last night, keeping him from having to dig them out of his pocket.
The drive home should only have taken 10 minutes, but it takes Stiles 20 because driving with two bandaged hands with dull aching pain hurts, and Derek’s magic touch was starting to wear off. He looks at the clock in the dash, sighing when it only reads 10:38 AM. He’s just ready for this day to be done. He tumbles out of the Jeep, glaring at nothing and everything at the same time as he walks up to the front door, reaching for the knob.
“Fuck!” He shots, yanking is hand away from the metal handle when a shock coursed through his arm. Stiles narrows his eyes at the door, then glares at his hand. “I will not be kept from my own house, so fuck you very much Sparky. Fuck right off, I’m going in.”
He squeezes his eyes shut as he reaches for the door again; when nothing happens, Stiles pumps his fists triumphantly in the air as the door swings open.
“Ha! I win Sparky! Suck it!”
Stiles heads to his room, toeing off his warn out Converse as he enters, flopping onto his bed with a heavy sigh as he stares blankly at the ceiling.
“Scott is out of his mind.” He mutters to no one. “He seriously thinks Derek is my anchor thingy? He barely likes me; he toleratesme at best.” Stiles reaches blindly out for the pillow under his head, holding it to his face he lets out a scream into the plush cotton form. He throws the pillow to the side, turning over onto his stomach with closed eyes. “There’s no way. None. He’d never…no. Just no.” Stiles mumbles tiredly. He let the sudden exhaustion take hold of him, eventually falling asleep.
He’s running away from something, but he can tell what from; there seems to be nothing there, but he knows there is. There are loud, thumping foot step thundering after him belonging to something he can't find.
Where is someone, anyone, to help; he can’t handle some monster on his own, not yet. He needs help.
He needs…he can’t think of who he needs. Someone. Someone important.
There’s a ferocious growl coming nearer to him. And he sees red somewhere in the distance in front of him, red lights pointed right at him but he can’t tell how close. The growl is coming from those lights, he knows it is.
He should be terrified.
He’s not. He runs toward the growling red lights but trips as something lean and gray darts in front of him. He’s on the ground, pain pulsing through his whole body.
Who does he need? Where are they? What’s their name?!
He can’t think, can’t pull one simple name from his mind, but he knows that if he can and he can just call out the name they’ll come.
The heavy footsteps continue to straight toward him, relentless in their pursuit to seek him out. He scurries back as fast as he can, turning on his knees to hoist himself up from the forest floor. He picks his head up only to fling himself backward when he stares into the face of a blue-eyed wolf.
Not a wolf, it’s too lean to be a wolf.
He heard the growl again, almost sounding like a warning. The red seems to be getting closer, it takes the shape of two glowing orbs; he doesn’t know what it is, but he needs to get to it.
To him. His anchor.
He’s got it, he knows who he’s looking for, who he needs.
“Derek.” He whispers, the red flares and earth shattering roar ripples through the trees in the distance. “Derek!” He cries out, scrambling to his feet and darting toward the red he now knows are eyes. Eyes of an alpha.
Eyes that belong to Derek.
The coyote crouches down before it pounces forward, slamming him back to the ground.
“Derek!” He calls out, kicking at the animal ripping and tearing at his pants. He starts to panic, crying out in pain as the blue-eyed coyote snarls with teeth digging into the muscle of his legs.
It hurts. It hurts so much, too much. But he can make it better.
No. His voice is fading. He’s getting father away; but how? He can see him right there.
But no, he’s not getting farther away. Stiles is the one who’s fading.
Stiles opens his mouth to speak but no sound comes out, just gasps of air as he chokes on something wet and metallic.
Stiles flails his limbs as he falls from the bed, his head slamming against his floor as he goes down. “Ow!” He groans.
“Are you okay? Your heart is beating really fast and you looked like you were in pain.”
Stiles rubs his head, opening his eyes to find a pair of bare legs in front of him; his eyes travel up, meeting Malia’s curious gaze.
“I…” He swallows the fear from his dream, remembering how the coyote ripped into his flesh. He can almost still taste the blood. “Yeah, I’m okay. Just a bad dream, that’s all.” He gives her a weak smile as he sits up. “What time is it?”
“About 8, I came in a couple hours ago.” Malia tells him with a carefree shrug. “You were out cold.”
“I was going to come over, I fell asleep for like the whole day! Ugh, what a waste of a Saturday.” Stile pulls himself up, careful with the weight on his hands. He stands, facing Malia with a soft smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Hey.”
“Hi.” She says, returning his smile.
Stiles reaches a bandaged had forward, brushing his fingers against Malia’s cheek before pulling her in.
The kiss is short, shorter than Stiles had expected; he frowns at her in confusion when she pulls away, tilting her head. “Something’s different.”
“Nothing’s different.” Stiles shoots back, defensively.
Malia rolls her eyes, poking Stiles’ chest. “You’re lying.”
“I’m…ugh!” Stiles sink down onto his bed.
“What?” Malia asks, sitting down beside him.
“This whole Spark thing has me all freaked out and I’m over analyzing things. Apparently there’s this anchor I need and it’s someone who is a born shapeshifter; they like keep me grounded and in control or whatever. I’ve just been over thinking it, trying to figure out who it was.”
“Derek.” Malia says simply with a shrug of her shoulders, seemingly unfazed.
“What!?” Stiles stares, mouth gaping open.
“Well, it’s kind of obvious.”
Stiles shots up from the bed, spinning on his heel frowning down at her. “No, it is not obvious! You’re obviously my anchor!”
Malia give him a confused look. “Why?”
“You’re my girlfriend!”
Malia shrugs nonchalantly. “So?”
“So?! So, how could it be anyone else?”
“I’m not your anchor Stiles.” Malia says flatly.
“And you know this how?” He glares down at the werecoyote skeptically.
Malia stands up with a shrug. “I don’t feel it, the pull. Lydia gave me the run down earlier, told me that Deaton said that a Sparks anchor will feel pulled toward them. I don’t.”
“I…wow, way to make a guy feel special. Thanks.”
“Stiles I like you, I do. I just don’t feel that irresistible pull; it’s not me you’re supposed to be with. If you had the heightened senses you’d know. I picked up on something the first time I was in the same room with you and Derek. It’s strong, I was actually surprised you wanted to even go out with me.”
“Supposed to be with…I’m supposed to be with…with Derek? Like, with with?”
Malia rolls her eyes, getting impatient with him. “Yes, Stiles. Lydia said that’s a big part of it; we’d call them mates.”
“But…Derek’s not…” Stiles sinks back to the bed, feeling light headed.
“Notice, how you said Derek’s not; not you’re not? It’s not as simple as you’re thinking, Stiles. There’s a lot of gray areas.” Malia grins, patting Stiles’ shoulder. “No hard feelings, okay? We had fun. Still friends, okay?” Stiles nods numbly. “Okay, well I’m going to go so you can work all this out. Go talk to Derek.” Malia leans down, pressing a soft kiss against Stiles’ cheek. “See you later.” She goes to the opened window, throwing her leg over the ledge and slipping out in to the night leaving Stiles alone on his bed with his thoughts.
“What. The. Fuck!”
Chapter 6: Self-reflections and assorted lists…
Lists. They're a good way to sort out your life...your...feelings?
Having already slept for several hours, effectively ruining the entire day, Stiles is wide awake…at 4 in the morning. At least it's Sunday, at 4 in the morning, so he’s got that going for him, but that means he’ll probably crash around 12 or 1 and his day will be shot, again, and school will suck on Monday.
“Fuuuuuccccckk!” He groans, laying on his bed with his arms spread out. “What even is my life!?”
After Malia climbed through his window, Stiles sat on his bed for a good 2 and a half hour just staring at nothing, not even thinking. It wasn’t until about 12:30, after his 3rdmelt down, that he sat at his desk and made a list.
-Reasons I am an idiot:
- Scott sucks my intelligence like a parasite
- I hopelessly crush on the same person for years, who ignores me and repeatedly rejects me
- I firmly believe that Duct Tape is an essential tool to prolonging the life of my Jeep…But its freaking DUCT TAPE
- I hate the word read. Do you read it read or read? See- yeah, my brain
- Derek was OBVIOUSLY my anchor
He slams his head onto his desk as he writes the last line, groaning. Because of course it was him; thinking about it freely, yeah, it's sort of clear and he’s a total moron. Once that realization dawned on him, it was time for more staring.
And here he lies, 4 in the morning, feeling like he’s drowning. He wants to call Scott, but its 4 in the morning, so no. He could text Derek, but that seems lame and desperate so…no.
He climbs out of bed, strolling down the hall to the kitchen. His stomach rumbled angerly as he opened the door to the fridge.
“Ugh, I know! You’re empty, I get it.” Stiles told his angerly protesting pit. “There’s nothing to eat.” He grumbled, grabbing a water and a cheese sticks, deciding that they would have to do.
He flopped down on the couch with his PlayStation controller in his lap. His dad wouldn’t be home until late in the evening after finishing his double shift, so there was no worry of him hearing his dad complain about the time and ranting about how he needs normal sleep and to “put away the video games already”. He turned the system on, starting up Arkham City; some mindless Batman action was sure to pass the time.
Thankfully, it was easy to get engrossed in the game and the actions before him. Stiles was sucked into the story of the game for a few hours, dozing off for a quick power nap here and there; by the time he looked at a clock again, the sun was up, peaking through the gray clouds in the sky, the time read 9:25 AM. A normal hour to begin pestering people about his problems. He trots back into his room for his phone, finding a new message from Lydia.
You’re an idiot.
I am well aware. Thanks. He replies.
Stiles goes back to his conversations list, not surprised to find Derek’s name near the top of the list; another sign that was flashing right in his face that he decided to ignore. He taps the message open with a fond smile. He had somehow roped Derek into a conversation about the realistic inaccuracies of Star Wars, which he loves those movies sure but loves pulling it apart also. Derek wasn’t much fun with it really, just kept saying that it was only a movie and to “Stop taking it so seriously.”
When did he and Derek become actual friends? Friends that talk about nothing but still talk almost daily.
You think we can talk? Stiles takes a deep breath and hits send; his heart felt almost like it was trying to hammer its way right through his chest.
Relax Stiles. It’s not even a thing. He tells himself.
He almost jumps a foot in the air when his phone goes off in his hand, he looks down to see Derek’s name scrolling across the screen.
Talk to Malia.
“Fuck me. Ugh…” He slides his finger across the screen, unlocking the phone and calling Scott.
The phone connects to the other line after just a couple rings, and Stiles doesn’t wait for a greeting from his best friend before diving right in. “He hates me. He fucking hates me and I can’t even be mad because it’s actually me who’s the asshole. I’m the asshole, Scott!”
“Wait.” Scott starts, sounding groggy. “Who hates you?”
“Dude. Derek, try to keep up.”
“But you didn’t say-”
“I texted him just, can we talk, cause we should probably do that right? And he tells me to talk to Malia. What do I do? He’s pissed, and I get it, but like shouldn’t he at least think about talking? Why do I feel like I’m living in an episode of 90210?! How is this my life? Trying to get back the…what? I don't even know what to call him cause we weren't anything 48 hours ago! This is too insane, but I have to do something cause now that I know, I’m like hyper aware of everything. It’s like my body and subconscious know something is off; it’s fucking weird man.”
“So…you’re okay with Derek? What happened? You were totally against it yesterday, very anti-Derek.”
Stiles shrugs, pacing his room. “Denial mostly? Doubt? I had this weirdly vivid dream last night; I was running from something and I was attacked by a coyote. I was trying to call out to someone, but I couldn’t find the name until these red light came closer. They were eyes, Derek’s eyes. And it was like once I made that connection I knew it was Derek’s name I needed to call out, it was his help I needed. The coyote ripped into me, dude there was blood coming out of my mouth; I could practically taste it still when I woke up. Malia was there when I did, and for a second I was…I was scared.” Stiles goes silent for a moment, gazing down at his socked feet. “She told me flat out that she doesn’t feel a supernatural pull to be near me, also she’s known since I introduced her to Derek, apparently. Supposedly it’s obvious to most with supernaturally enhanced senses. We know how blunt Malia is, so kind of can’t ignore her if she says she’s not my anchor but Derek is. She just said it, like it was nothing too.” Stiles sighed, dropping to his floor with his legs crossed. “I don’t know what to do Scott. I don’t know how to handle this.”
“Talk to him.” Scott says softly.
“I tried. You do it for me.” Stiles whines, laying on his back.
“Try harder, man.”
“Easy for you to say, you didn’t like…unintentionally reject the guy. Ugh, this is a mess; I need a day to collect myself.”
“You had all day yesterday.”
“Yeah, which I spent asleep from like 11 to 8! Don’t know how…whatever. I’m going to go dark for a bit, I’ll talk to you soon.”
“I’m here for what ever you need, got it? Everything will be fine Stiles.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.” Stiles says, unconvinced. “Later Scotty, thanks for listening to me bitch.”
Stiles crawls over to his desk, reaching up and dragging down his notebook and pen.
List times comes again.
-Reasons Derek could actually, somehow, like me (seriously???)
- He has a tumor (special werewolf one)
- He’s desperate
- He’s got some weird memory loss thinger
- He thinks I’m dying and has somehow picked up on my more than subtle staring (seriously, I’m James fucking Bond here)
- He’s dying (unlikely)
- …Sometimes I smell good…I guess
- Seriously? WTF!
Lists are dumb, but a good way to clear and center one’s thoughts; there are a lot of thoughts floating in the mind of Stiles Stilinski.
-Things I know about myself
- My name is Stiles, technically not but that’s another thing to not worry about
- I run with werewolves
- My Jeep is slowly dying
- I have zero direction for my life right now
- ADHD is a thing I have
- My dad is the sheriff and is awesome
- I’m twitchy
- I talk too much
- I’m clumsy
- See #9
- CAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT!
- I suck at lacrosse, but I warm the hell out of a bench
- Panic attacks are a think I get
- Derek helps
- Derek helps before they even hit
- I make lists when I’m going to lose it
- I wish Derek was here
- God, I’m fucking clueless
Stiles putts around the house, mopping about throughout the morning and most of the afternoon. He opens and closes the same four cabinets 20 times, hoping food will magically appear.
At 5:30, his phone rings. Scotts name flashes across the screen, setting his bag of Goldfish down he answers the call. “What’s up.” He greets.
“Can you tell him you’re okay? He just called me asking if I’ve talked to you.”
“Why wouldn’t he just call me? Did you tell him anything?” Stiles asked hopefully.
“No, that’s all on you man. All he knows it that the rest of us know about everything, I didn’t say anything about you, and I won’t. I’m not having that conversation for you, Stiles. Just…text him or something. Oh, he said to tell you if we talked to eat something that isn’t an “orange fish cracker.” So…don’t?”
Stiles looks down at the half eaten bag of Goldfish in his lap. “Woah, freaky.”
“You’re…are you actually eating Goldfish right now?”
“Yeah. That’s crazy.” Stiles says with a small grin tugging at the corner of his lips.
“That’s actually super freaky but sort of really cool.”
“Stop eating them! I can hear you crunching! He said to eat some real food and get some protein.”
“I had a power bar at noon.” Stiles says with a shrug, throwing another handful of fish into his mouth.
“Dude, doesn’t count. Come on, if Derek thinks you’re eating so shitty he’ll kill me! You didn’t hear how he said all this man; he used his don’t-fucking-question-me-I’m-an-alpha voice.”
“Fine! I think there’s some soup; I'll have that and like…a turkey sandwich. Satisfied?”
“Eat. Tell him you’re good. Talk to you later.”
Stiles reluctantly closes the bag of Goldfish that was meant to be his dinner. He pulls out a can of his dad’s minestrone soup, not his favorite but…food. While that’s heating up, he put together a turkey sandwich. He set the plate on the table and goes back to the microwave to retrieve the soup. He pulls out his phone and snaps a picture, sending it to Derek
Real food. Goldfish safely stashed. All is good.
He pockets his phone, knowing there won’t be a reply.
The sheriff walks in as Stiles sets his dishes into the empty sink. “Hey kiddo.”
“He pops, how was the double?”
“Ugh.” The sheriff walks into the kitchen, sitting at the table with a tired groan. “Long, I’m beat.”
“Want me to heat you up some soup? That’s really all we have, I’ll grab some stuff tomorrow.” Stiles says, leaning against the counter, keeping his hands behind his back.
“No, I’m ok. I ate at the station a couple hours ago. I’m going to grab a shower and hit the sack. Hey, you alright? You seem off?” Stiles’ dad rises to his feet, approaching his son with a soft expression.
Stiles nods. “Yeah, I’m fine, just over thinking some things.”
“You and Malia okay?” He asks, putting a hand on the boys shoulder.
“Yeah, well we broke up I guess but I’m fine.” His dad raises his eyebrows at him, unconvinced. “I swear, dad, I’m fine. It’s not even about that or her; its...” Stiles sighs. “It’s a long story that I really don’t want to get into right now.”
The sheriff nods, giving Stiles’ shoulder a light squeeze. “Okay, but you know I’m here when you want to talk.”
Stiles give his dad a small reassuring smile. “Thanks dad.”
“I’m gonna head up for a shower and hit the hay. See you in the morning.”
Stiles flops onto the couch, and begins flipping through the channels mindlessly for a while. He jumps, startled at the sudden loud clap of thunder. “Christ!” He says, with a hand clutching his chest. Rain starts pouring down in heavy sheets and the TV screen goes blank when the connection is lost. He sighs heavily, tossing the remote to the side; a couple hours of mindless channel surfing ending courtesy of mother nature.
He pulls out his phone, checking his message to Derek because apparently, he’s that kind of guy now. The checkmark below his sent message indicates the it was seen, but there had been no reply sent. It’d been a few hours since the message had been sent and now Stiles began to feel a new flash of anger flaring inside.
He frowned at the screen, thumbs hoovering over the keyboard. “Fuck it, he’s already pissed.” He mutters as he types.
Still pissed? He hits send.
The message sit for a couple minutes until the checkmark appears; it also goes unanswered. Stiles taps out another, feeling his cheeks heating up.
So, you can call my best friend to check on me, but you won’t actually answer my text? Real mature dude.
The message bares the same results; read but no reply.
Seriously? You know I can see that you’re reading these, right?
Stiles waits another minute, but the result is still the same.
Wow, oh so very mature of you, Sir Fucking Alpha!
Stiles throws his phone on the table, fuming. He glances at the clock, 10:56 PM, then out the window at the falling rain. He tilts his head, biting his lower lip, looking at the window. Stiles slides off the couch and pulls back the curtain. It’s a tropical storm, the kind of rain that soaks you to the bone just by thinking about it.
“It’s not that bad. Just water, and there’s an overhang, so just from here to the Jeep. Can’t get too wet…” Stiles says to himself. “Fuck it.” He says with a shrug.
He goes to his room, slipping on his converse and grabbing his red sweatshirt off the back of his computer chair. He snags his keys off the desk and heads out, bolting to the Jeep in the torrential down pour. He shakes his hair out as he slams his door closed, cranking the Jeep engine. It sputters to life and Stiles is backing out the driveway.
“Worst he can do it close the door in my face, right? At least he’ll be forced to acknowledge me.” Stiles squints through the windshield as the wipers push the rain away with a squeak. “Fucking werewolves.” He mutters as he drives through the storm.
Chapter 7: Broken Jeeps and rainy nights…
“No, no, no! Not here! Seriously?” Stiles groans, turning the key in the ignition with only a whining groan answering his efforts. “No! Fuck!” He yells, slamming his hands down on the steering wheel, leading him to instant regret. “Ow! Shit! Mother fucker!” He pulls his hand to his chest, fighting back tears as fresh pain courses through his hands. “Damn it.” He whispers in the silence of the Jeep, a crack in his voice as the pain begins to throb.
He glares out the window for a couple minutes, staring at the large industrial building at the end of the road. “You couldn’t just hang in there for a few more feet? Are you punishing me too, Roscoe? Like I’m not already well aware of how much of an idiot I’ve been.” He grumbles to his Jeep with a sniff.
With a sigh, Stiles throws open his door, grimacing at the prickly flash of pain in his palm as it presses against the door. He tumbles out, shutting his door and squinting as the rain pelts against his face. Throwing his hood up, Stiles jogs towards the darkened building looming in the short distance. He races right inside, throwing a look over his shoulder to make sure the black Camaro was parked out front. He climbs the stairs two at a time, utterly out of breath when he reaches the top. Stiles stands in front of the loft door, breathing heavily, sopping wet and cold. His hands are still in excruciating pain, so knocking would prove difficult and well…painful. The cold, wet bandages sadly do nothing to ease the pain.
Stiles steps up to the large, sliding steel door with intentions to kick is as his form of knocking. He pulls his foot back but is halted mid-kick when the door is wrenched open.
Derek stands in the opening, his arm stretched out, bracing the steel in a red long-sleeved shirt with his thumb poking through the hole on the cuff. Stiles blinks at him, half surprised and speechless; this is the first time since everything came to light that he’s seeing Derek. And he looks different somehow, but still the same. He looks warm, cozy, comfortable. Stiles is suddenly feeling exhausted and freezing.
Derek gives him a pointed look with a quirked eyebrow, waiting for him to speak. Stiles steps forward into more light, his body quacking slightly as he begins to shiver. Derek reaches out, eyes wide with concern, pulling Stiles into the loft with a hand on his elbow.
“You’re soaked. Stiles why are you so wet?” He asks, pulling him to the couch. Stiles sinks down, his body trembling. Derek reaches for the throw blanket on the back of the couch. “Take off the sweatshirt.” Stiles shrugs out of the heavy garment with the help of Derek, it drops to the floor with a loud plop. Derek pulls the blanket around Stiles’ shoulders before rising back to his feet. He’s gone for just a moment; returning with a wool towel, kneeling down he covers Stiles’ head with the towel, rubbing it over his hair to help dry it.
“Y-you still m-mad?” Stiles asks from under the wool draped over his head.
Derek sighs, pulling the towel off. “Why are you so wet?” He asks, ignoring the question.
“There’s an overhang.”
Stiles shrugs, pulling the blanket tighter around him. “J-Jeep broke d-down. Right d-down the r-road.” He stammers though more tremors.
Derek shakes his head, rubbing Stiles’ arms through the blanket to help warm him up. “You should have called.”
Stiles looked up, his gaze meeting Derek’s. “Would you h-have a-answered?” He asks softly.
Derek pulls himself back, sitting on the coffee table across from Stiles. “Of course.”
“Liar.” Stiles says, leaning back into the cushions, slouching down. “I d-don’t need wolf hearing to k-know you’re lying.”
Derek wipes a hand down his face. “Maybe. I don’t know Stiles. What are you even doing here?”
“Y-you wouldn’t talk to me.” Stiles says simply. “I asked you to talk and you t-told me to talk to Malia. I was f-freaking out. Scott was no help, Lydia c-called me a moron, which y-yeah okay I know, but I…I needed to t-talk to you. Since you i-ignored my texts I figured s-screw it. I’d make you talk. Now I’m s-super wet and really cold a-and I hurt my hands again b-because my Jeep is punishing me fore my cluelessness a-apparently. So, you b-better not ignore m-me.”
“Do they still hurt?”
Derek leaned forward, holding out his own hands palms up. “Your hands, do they still hurt?” Stiles nodded. “Give them here.” He said, waving Stiles closer. He pulls his hands out from under the warmth of the blanket, slowly placing them in Derek’s. He feels the steady calm heat slowly spreading through his hands into his finger tips as the pain is lifted away
“Thanks.” He mummers. Derek’s nods, pulling his hands back. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m so clueless and stupid and dumb. I’m sorry I upset you. I’m sorry I didn’t get why, didn’t see why. Because of course its not Malia, even she knew; apparently literally everyone knew but me. So, I’m an asshole and I know that. Like I get it, I know I’m sort of an asshole normally but that was like exceptional asshole-dom.”
“Stiles-” Derek tried to interrupt Stiles’ ranting apology but the boy shakes his head.
“No, just…I have stuff I need to get out.” Derek nodded, letting him continue. “So, yeah. I’m an asshole. And It wasn’t like I didn’t want you to be my anchor. I just didn’t think…I mean you’re Derek freaking Hale. Born werewolf, badass, alpha. And I’m Stiles Stilinski…human. You’re fiercely protective of anyone you allow into your life, you are actually kind of hilarious and I’ve seen you be kind and caring and you’re smart as hell. I’m just Stiles. I’m too pale, gangly, I can’t control my own limbs, I literally trip over air-”
“I talk too much, I’m too hyper and spastic. I’m annoying-”
“Stiles-” Derek tries again, trying to raise his voice above the boy’s own words as they slip out.
“I’m totally clueless about life in general, I get a crush on a freaking werewolf and manage to fuck it up before it can even be anything. I have too many moles, I-”
Derek lurches forward, grabbing Stiles by the back of the neck and yanking him forward. His rant is cut off as his mouth connects with Derek’s; he freezes for minute, the act so sudden it made his eyes widen and he forgets how to breath. Derek’s hand curls around the back of his neck, the other coming up to cup Stiles’ cheek. His eyes flutter closed as he leans into Derek’s touch, a soft moan bubbling up from his core feeling his tongue gliding along his bottom lip.
After a minute, Derek breaks away rubbing his nose along Stiles’ jaw. “I like your moles.” He whispers, nipping at the boys’ ear.
Stiles smiles, leaning forward into Derek, almost falling off the couch to rest his head on the mans shoulder. “No one likes my moles.” He whispers back.
“I do.” Derek tells him. He wraps his arms around Stiles, pushing them both back onto the couch. Stiles pushes his wet shoes off, curling up at Derek’s side.
“So…this is like…a thing then?” He asks, picking at some fuzz on the blanket still wrapped around him.
Derek’s arm is drapped across his shoulders, he leans over, reaching with his other hand to gently card his fingers through Stiles’ still wet hair. He cranes his head down, brushing his lips against his forehead. “If you want.” He says simply, a hint of worry in his tone.
“Do you?” Stiles asked, the same worry laced within his words.
Derek is silent for a moment, making Stiles fidget uneasily. An arm squeezes around him as Derek sinks further into the couch with him, spreading his legs out in front of him and resting his head on top of Stiles’. “Yeah. I do.”
Stiles grins, wrapping an arm around Derek’s torso. “I really am sorry that I was so stupid, I didn’t mean to make you so mad. And at the time I really didn’t get it.”
Derek rubbed his hand up and down Stiles’ arm in a soothing motion. “I wasn’t mad.”
“You almost broke the sink.” Stiles tells him, tilting his head up to look at Derek.
Derek smiles softly down at Stiles, leaning down for a quick kiss. “Not mad, frustrated. You’re frustrating. You’re so in tune with everyone else, but when it comes to yourself you can be completely oblivious. Once Deaton confirmed everything it all made more sense to me, so I stopped holding back. If I wanted to reach out and touch you, to comfort you or to just do it, I was going to.”
“Like you did at the diner.”
“And in the kitchen. When you told me that you figured out your anchor, I thought ‘great, he’s finally seeing it’.”
“But then I stupidly thought it was Malia.”
Derek nodded. “I understood what you where thinking, how you got to that answer, but it didn’t make it any easier to hear. I accepted this a long time ago Stiles, I was just sort of waiting for you to catch up.” Derek stated. “You know, you knew that you were lying to yourself? Subconsciously? Your heart beat faltered each time you said it was Malia.”
“That’s wild. I really thought it’s be her…well, no, maybe not. I think it was more like I didn’t think there was any way it could be you.” Stiles brought his head down to Derek’s chest, wiggling in closer.
“Why? Why couldn’t it have been me?”
“Because.” Stiles says with a heavy sigh. “You’re you and I’m me.”
“I think we’ve already established that I like you, Stiles.” Derek tells him with a smirk.
“I just don’t get why, seems unreal. Also, I thought you were fully straight so, yeah. Me on the other hand? I’ve always been chilling happily in the middle there.”
“There’s no straight or gay with this, when we meet our mate for the first time it’s electric. Gender just isn’t a factor.”
“Was it electric?” Stiles asks curiously around a small yawn.
“Hm, that’s…sort of disappointing.” He mumbles, turning to his side letting his head fall into Derek’s lap.
“I mean it wasn’t just electric; it was a whole storm of lighting. A storm I wasn’t ready to face.”
“Because of Laura?” Stiles’ voice is flooded with exhaustion. Derek leans his head back, running his fingers through Stiles’ drying hair in his lap.
“Mm. I wasn’t ready for that yet; plus, you were 15. There was no way you were ready for something like that, I’m not entirely sure you’re ready now.”
“I can totally do this whole mate-anchor thing. I’m all over it. See, look at us,” Stiles cracks an eye open, glancing up at Derek. “We’re even cuddling.”
Derek scoffs, closing his eyes. “Yeah?”
“If it means being stuck with your, I’m up for anything.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” Derek says softly, his eyes falling closed.
“Good.” Stiles hums, letting the feeling of Derek’s hand roaming through his hair coax him into unconsciousness.
Chapter 8: Bat Mobile, Waffles, and Confessions…
Stiles’ internal clock kicked in, waking him up around 6 in the morning but he’s too damn comfy. Derek’s repositioned himself along the couch, one foot planted on the floor with his arms wrapped around the boy lying on top of him. Stiles had his arms tucked into himself with his head on the alpha’s chest.
And he’s warm.
Nice and toasty with the blanket draped over him and the personal heater werewolf under him. But, it’s Monday and that mean he is supposed to be getting up and getting ready for school; but the warmth!
Stiles groans as he begins to wake up, turning to bury his face into the warm chest below. Derek chuckles, tightening his hold on him. “Morning.” Stiles grumbles something back in response, something that sounds like ‘mornings are the spawn of Satan’. “You have school.” He says with a smile, slowly opening his eyes and peering down at the weight resting on top of him.
“It’s Monday. Monday means school.”
“Can’t.” Stiles says, turning his head so his cheek is against Derek’s chest. “No clothes.”
“I’m getting up.”
“Noooo!!” Stiles whines. “Comfy! Warm!”
“Come on.” Derek slowly sits up, Stiles wraps his arms around his body latching himself onto the rising werewolf. “Really?” He says looking down at Stiles.
Derek rolls his eyes, reaching behind him to take hold of Stiles’ wrist and unhooking them from his torso. He pushes the boy back slightly, looking into his drowsy face. “Stiles.” He says in a warning tone.
“But…I burned my hands.” He pouts. “I can’t take notes, it’s a total waste.”
“You could just, I don’t know, listen.” Derek folds his left leg underneath his body, the other still off the couch, planted on the floor. Stiles has his own leg tucked under with his other hooked over Derek’s, dangling a few inches off the ground.
“We both know that’s not going to happen. Look, I’m all sorts of off, my sleep has been all over the place the last couple days, and before that it hasn’t been much better. Did you know that after I left here the other day I got home and slept for like 9 hours! I was totally wired when I woke. Then Malia laid all this stuff out there and I was just thinking-”
“God help us.”
Stiles glares at Derek’s who’s looking back at him with a smirk. “Rude.” The alpha hums, leaning into Stiles’ space. “No,” He leans back a fraction, away from Derek. “I don’t like rude wolves.”
“No?” Derek asks with a raised eyebrow. “Your heartbeat says otherwise.” He keeps moving forward, forcing Stiles to recline on his back with Derek hoovering over him with a sly smirk.
“M-maybe you need a hearing aid.” Stiles quips back, his cheeks flush swallowing nervously.
“My hearing is fine.” Derek leans in closer, bumping his nose against Stiles’. “Nervous, Stiles?” He asks with a grin.
“N-no.” He replies with a shaky voice. Derek cocks an eyebrow, silently telling Stiles he heard the lie. “Shut up.” He whispers.
Derek grazes his lips against Stiles’, a light fluttering kiss. “I didn’t say a word.” He leans back in, settling on top of Stiles as he presses their lips together once more. Derek smiles against the warmth of Stiles’ mouth, relishing in the feeling of his tongue gliding along his lips before his mouth opens a fraction and he’s tasting inside Stiles’ mouth.
The kiss was an explosion, sending sparks and flares throughout Stiles’ whole body. It was tender and passionate and hungry. He clutched at Derek’s back, pulling his body down closer to him, digging his fingers into his shoulders. Everything he’d seen in stupid movies that he’s mocked was happening, even the little bantering before the epic make out session laying on the couch. There was more to it though than just desire and, yeah, lust because you don’t look at Derek freaking Hale and not have lustful thoughts ok? It just doesn’t work that way.
There was a feeling deep within Stiles’ core that began to bubble to the surface. He finds himself thinking of one very terrifying word. He can feel how right this is, how right Derek is. It’s something that goes beyond this crush he’s been harboring for him, more than just physical attraction. It’s more than the ever-burning torch he’s carried for Lydia and stronger than anything he’d ever felt with Malia; he never knew just how wrong him being with her was. There was a happy hum surrounding him, something inside settling back in content. He thinks for a moment, that he can actually feel his Spark easing and calming itself as he grasps onto Derek, devouring the soft growls reverberating through his body.
Derek pulls back, gazing down tentatively at Stiles, his eyes echoing what Stiles was feeling; that big scary word doesn’t seem so scary when you see it looking back at you with a pair of stunning hazel green eyes.
“Thinking?” He asks, running a thumb over Stiles’ cheek tenderly.
“Mmm.” Stiles hums. “Thinking.”
Stiles opens his mouth, about to blurt out his current thoughts and feelings, but his minds natural defense kicks in for once saving him some possible embarrassment. “Breakfast.” He stated, an easy alterative because it’s almost never a lie. “Man, I’m starving! Goldfish alone do no sustain you.”
Derek sits up, pushing himself off the couch. “I knew you were diving into some kind of junk food.” He says with a shake of his head.
“Derek,” Stiles scrambles off the couch after him, his voice serious. “They’re baked, not fried!”
Derek rolls his eyes, turning to look down at Stiles from a few stairs above. “Just because a commercial says they’re good for you doesn’t make it true.”
“What are you doing?” Stiles calls up as Derek continues up the stairs.
“Changing so we can go get breakfast.”
“You’re amazing, I could kiss you!” Stiles grins hearing Derek’s gruff laugh bellow down the stairs.
When he comes back down he’s holding a maroon pullover out for Stiles. “Your sweater is still soaked, wear this. It’ll be a little big but its an older one that’s too small on me, so you won’t be swimming in it.”
Stiles beams at Derek, his smile bright and cheery making something in Derek’s stomach flip. He takes the offered sweatshirt and wiggles into it, looking down after it's on seeing the words Beacon Hills Basketball imprinted in white on the front. He pulls at the garment, turning to look at the back and see Hale and the number 19 printed on his back.
“You know, this like makes us official.” He says, wagging his eyebrows. “It’s like giving me your lettermen’s jacket or class ring.” Derek nods, with a grunt, ushering Stiles toward the door. “Mr. Hale,” Stiles start in a faux scandalized tone. “Are you asking me to go steady?”
“Jesus.” Derek opens the door, placing a guiding hand on Stiles urging him through the door ahead of him. “No one says that anymore.”
“Well, fine but I don’t put out on the first date. So, no funny business!” Derek closes the door, keeping a hand on Stiles’ lower back as they descend the stairs down to his car. “Keep your hand where I can see them mister. I am not that kind of girl.”
Derek’s hand slides lower, he leans over whispering in Stiles’ ear in a low husky tone. “I bet you’d make an exception though.”
“Well, I never!” Stiles turns to Derek with an appalled expression as he reaches the bottom level. “Mr. Hale,” He says, his hand pressed to Derek’s chest, pushing him back against the wall. “What would you think of me?” He asks with a grin, leaning in brushing his lips along Derek’s throat. He grins with pride at the low growl Derek emits.
Another growl sounds from Stiles as Derek places his hand on the boys hips, tugging him closers. The sound pulls him from his Stiles induced trance and he throws his head back with a hearty laugh.
“Hm.” Stiles looks down at his stomach. “Well, that’s not nearly as hot as your growl. Playtime over!” Stiles announces, turning on his heel, finger pointed skyward. “To the diner! The Spark demands sustenance!”
“Yes, Spark.” Derek scoffs.
“Hey.” Stiles looks to Derek as they settle into the Camaro and close their doors. “Can this be our Bat Mobile?”
Derek shrugs, stating the engine. “I guess. I’ve always been partial to Superman though.”
“Superman? Yeah, you would like Superman.”
“What’s wrong with Superman?” Derek asks defensively as he pulls away from the building.
“Nothing. Except everything! Take away the Super and he’s just a man. He was born with his abilities, he wouldn’t be able to do much without them. Grab some kryptonite and you’ve got his balls in a vice.”
“Yeah but kryptonite isn’t something just anyone can get their hands on. It’s not like they sell it anywhere. And he wasn't born with them; the yellow sun is what give him his power. It's just a side effect.”
Stiles lets out a soft chuckle. "Wow, who knew you were a closet nerd."
Derek rolls his eyes. "I never hide the fact that I like comic. No one has ever asked and it's not like it was something that would have just come up. We've been a bit busy saving the town."
"Fair point." Stiles concedes. Back to my original point, Superman is the worst. Who does he think that a simple pair of glasses and a little curl on his head is a going to disguise him? What is that? Batman’s got awesome gadgets and a mask.”
“Yeah and billions of dollars.”
“Yeah but you take away his money and he can still kick ass in hand-to-hand. He wasn’t born with that ability, he learned it.”
“I was born with enhanced abilities. If I lost them I’d be just as useless.” Derek points out.
“No way! You’d still be badass; you’re way more Batman than Superman. Cause you could still fight and like defend my honor.”
“That sounds exhausting.” Derek deadpans.
Stiles swats his arm. “Rude! We talked about this; I don’t like rude wolves.”
“And I thought I proved that was a lie.”
Stiles shot him a glare, stuck his tongue out and crossed his arms over his chest, slumping down in his seat.
Derek rolled his eyes, chuckling softly. “You’re a child.”
“I’m almost 18.” Stiles protested.
“Yeah, and you still pout and complain when you don’t get your way.”
“No!” Stiles whined. “I do not…oh.” He said, hearing his petulant tone. “Okay, yeah I hear it. But whatever.” He tells Derek with a wave of his hand.
Derek shakes his head, turning the Camaro into the open lot of the diner.
“I’m getting a whole big order of giant, fluffy waffles and bacon and hash-browns and you, Hale, aren’t going to say a word.” Stiles tells Derek sternly, pointing a finger at him as he slips out of the car.
“You know, you should really-”
“Nope! Not listening!” Stiles puts his hand up to cover his ears, walking around the nose of the car to meet Derek. “Waffles! Bacon!”
He nodded, acknowledging the Sparks demands, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. He places a hand on Stiles’ hip, moving it around to his back as he turns him toward the diner with his hand still firmly pressed to his ears to ward off Derek’s healthy suggestions. “Child.” He muses, as he led him through the entrance.
They’re seated right away at a booth in the back, each ordering a coffee while Stiles jumped right into his order of waffles and, after a debate with Derek, an order of bacon which he agreed to share with the man across from him who requested pancakes with fresh strawberries.
“So,” Stiles started, gazing down at his hands as he picked at the bandages.
“Don’t pick at that.” Derek scolded.
Stiles rolled his eyes with an exasperated sigh. “I feel like we need to discuss all this; it’s still a little…overwhelming?”
“Are you not…do you have any reservations about it?”
“No!” Stiles said quickly. “I’m happy that we’re…whatever we are but I just don’t know what all of this really means. How much does your presence around help me? Does it make me stronger or just keep me in control? Are you stronger? Exactly how connected are we? And…”
“What?” Derek asks curiously.
“Well….what are we? What do I call you? Oh my god, what do I tell my dad?” Stiles asked, saying the last part quietly to himself, as if he forgot the werewolf sitting across from him.
“Most of that we kind of have to figure out as we go, I’m not sure how much effect I have on your abilities and I don’t know if Deaton has experienced this first hand before. You seemed to have calmed down the other night when you were with me, so it looks like as far as the actual control I add something that calms your nerves. I feel…better, more alert. And honestly I slept better last night and the other night than I have in probably years. So something about you adds comfort for me, settles me I guess.”
“Soothing the savage beast?” Stiles says with a grin.
Derek scoffs. “Something like that, yeah. And as for us…what do you want this to be?”
“I…I can’t just decide that Derek. It isn’t just me here.”
Derek nodded, leaning back thoughtfully. “Well, would it help if told you where I stand? I sort of alluded to it but you don’t seem to be picking things up like you normally do, must be the old age getting to you.”
“Ha-ha. You’re killing me with your wit, Sourwolf. I’ve got a lot going on right now and have been running on little to no sleep in the past months so forgive me if I’m not quick on the uptake.”
“I can forgive you for your lapse this one time, but you better get you’re act together soon Stilinski. I can’t be carrying you from burning buildings and solving the cases you take upon yourself to work on.” Derek casually took a sip from his coffee with a sly smirk. Stiles narrowed his eyes at the Alpha across the table from him; he shot his leg out making contact with the man’s shin. “Ow! Really?!”
Stiles shrugged. “Serves you right. Now come on, make with the words and the confession your undying love for me.” He waved his hand dramatically, sitting back and waiting for Derek’s scowl to soften.
“You’ve heard me say time and time again that you’re amazing, Stiles. I want to be in your life for as long as you’ll let me, in whatever capacity you need. I care about you Stiles, in a more profound way then I’ve ever cared about anyone before. There have been very few good memories here for me in Beacon Hills, after Laura was killed I had intended to leave when I found out what happened; but I stayed. I stayed because of you, Stiles.” Derek looked down at the table, picking at the paper placemat while he listened to the rapid beating of the boys heart. “I felt a pull, a thread connecting me and you, the first moment I saw you in the woods that day. I knew what it was, knew what it meant but I wasn’t ready for that. I was angry and afraid. Anything good in my life has always been taken away from me and you Stiles are the best thing about my life, about my day. I knew then that that’s what you’d be for me, and I was afraid of losing something again. I’ve closed myself off to everyone in my life since the fire, since Kate, but I want to talk to you. I want to tell you about my family, about Kate, about Peter, about everything.” Derek tapers off, feeling shy and embarrassed by his words.
Stiles is stunned into silence; he had never heard Derek speak so much in one sitting and he’s never heard him get anywhere near the subject of his feelings. But here he was, pink ears, spitting out probably the most heartfelt words Stiles has heard in his life. And they were directed at him, they were for him. The man ripped at the placemat in front of him, not meeting Stiles’ eyes. The boy reached forward, placing his bandaged hand on his fidgeting one. “No one has ever said something so…amazingly honest to me like that before. I’m honored that you trust me with that stuff; I know how hard it is for you to bring up your family and everything that’s happened. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Derek; not with me.”
Derek slowly raised his eyes, looking up at Stiles. “I’m in this Stiles.” He said, giving the hand covering his a gentle squeeze. “I’m completely, 100% in this. There’s no way I can’t be, I…I want you, I want more than a platonic relationship. But like I said, I just want to be in your life however you need or want me.”
Stiles nodded his stomach tying in knots. “Me too.” He said quietly, squeezing his eyes shut and cursing himself for not being as eloquent with his words. “I…I’ve wanted to be more with you for a while and I just…I never thought you’d want that. And, hey- don’t roll your eyes at me! I know I have some of my own self-pity shit to work on and like self-esteem and all that, but you telling me that I’m amazingly awesome is helping with that.” Stiles smiled softly, rubbing his thumb over the top of Derek’s hand before leaning back in his seat. “So, this thread you mentioned…You said you knew what it was?”
Derek nodded, settling back in the booth. “When we find our mate, the one person we are truly meant to be with, there is this overwhelming feeling that passes through our bodies. A strong pulling sensation and then there is the scent that washes over us; the scent on your own mate is one of the most intoxicating things you’ll ever experience.” He said in an almost dreamy, unfocused tone. “I’ll be honest; I didn’t want to accept it at first.”
“Because I’m Stiles.” Stiles stated simply.
Derek growled lowly. “No. Because you were a kid. And…I had always been attracted to girls before you, so it was just a little more than I was ready to deal with. I knew logically already that gender meant nothing with mates, and I've never been closed off to the idea, but it didn’t make it any less weird to find out that my mate was not only in Beacon Hills this whole time, but he was a 16 year-old spaz who pokes his nose in where it doesn’t belong. And got me arrested.” He added.
“Sorry.” Stiles smiled impishly, shrinking back. “Hey. What do I smell like to you?”
“Winter, pine, sunshine, crisp clean air on a full moon. And peppermint.” Derek shrugged before continuing. “Once I noticed how often I found myself with you, that pull became harder to ignore; I actually started to seek you out rather than just stumble upon you.”
“When you got shot?”
Derek nodded. “I started out looking for Scott, I could tell he was close and the instinct to seek out another wolf or pack when we’re injured and vulnerable is strong; the only thing that could over power that instinct would be out mate. I found you first, and I still don’t know if it happened by chance or if my wolf was pushing me towards you but once I was near you my body practically screamed out; needing you as close as possible.”
Stiles tilts his head, a thoughtful expression crossing his features. “That sounds overwhelming; instinct battling instinct.”
“Sort of is in a way, but the bond to a mate will always win out.”
“Is there like some kind of official bonding thing? Like do I get a tattoo? Cause I sort of have this thing about needles.”
“No, no tattoo unless you want to get one, that’s up to you; some pairs do mark themselves, but it’s not like it’s a tradition or anything. There is…there is something that mates have to eventually go through to bond them together and strengthen the ties they have.”
“Like a wedding?” Stiles asked with a nervous laugh.
“Not exactly; it’s much more…” Derek averts his eyes, color rising in his cheeks up to the tip of his ears. “Intimate.”
“Are you blushing?” Stiles quips, holding back his softy laughter. “That’s adorable, Der.”
“Shut up.” Derek mumbles, taking a sip of his coffee.
“It’s cute.” Derek flicks his eyes up over the rim of his cup, narrowing them at Stiles’ amused grin. “Okay, okay. So what happens with this thing, this ritual or whatever? Why’s it got you all flustered?”
Derek leans back, smiling up at the waitress as she set their breakfast down in front of them. He rolls his eyes at the way Stiles dives into his waffles, slathering them with butter and drowning them with syrup, forgetting about their topic of conversation. He stabs them with his fork, attacking them like they’ve personally offended him. He shoved a dripping, sappy wet piece into his mouth, syrup streaking the sides of his face, droplets pooling at the corner of his mouth.
Derek eyes his mouth, licking his own lips at the thought of cleaning the extra syrup off of Stiles’ face and thinking about how he’d taste of sugar and maple later.
Stiles had devoured almost half of his meal before his eyes roamed up, landing on Derek’s watchful gaze. “What?” He mumbled around a mouth full of waffle.
Derek shrugged, bringing his attention to his own, untouched, meal. “Nothing.” He says. “But, uh, you’ve got some syrup on your face.”
Stiles quirks an eyebrow, chewing and swallowing his current mouthful. He picks up his napkin, wiping at each of his cheeks and his chin, throwing Derek a questioning look. The man shakes his head with a tiny smile; the boy huffs, wiping at his cheeks again.
Derek lets out a laugh as Stiles managed to cover every spot on his face where syrup could be except the spot Derek’s eyes were glued to. “Okay,” He says, hands up in surrender. “You’re sitting there all smirky so obviously I didn’t get it. Help, maybe?”
“This is far more entertaining.” Stiles glares at him with a frown. “Fine.”
Derek leans forward over the table, reaching his hand out, pressing it to Stiles’ cheek. The boy leans into the touch, his breath hitching slightly as it always does when Derek touched him. Derek’s thumb hovers over the glistening, sticky sweet spot he’d intended to wipe away. His hand slides to the back of Stiles’ neck and pulling him forward; the boy obediently followed the gentle tug, leaning in towards Derek. Tilting his head up just slightly, Derek stretched over the table, bringing his face closer. Stiles’ heartbeat quickened and he swallowed down a lump forming in his throats. Derek pressed his lips to Stiles’, moving to one corner of the boys syrup covered mouth, his tongue lapping at the sweet amber liquid lingering there. He kisses Stiles again, center on his mouth as he moves over to the other corner, cleaning the sticky sweet mess Stiles had made of himself. Derek pulls away slowly, his hand dropping from Stiles’s neck, settling back in his seat while Stiles stayed, half-leaning over the table, frozen.
Derek smirked, licking is lips and still tasting syrup. “You okay?” He asked nonchalantly.
Stiles eyes seemed to refocus, the dazed look slipping away. “I…uhmm.” He stammered.
The Alpha across the table reaches for a piece of bacon. “Stiles?” He asked with a smug look.
Stiles blinked, shaking his head as he cleared his throat and slowly leaning back. “I sort of meant point to where the syrup was…but I mean…yeah. That-that works too.”
“Sorry.” Derek shifted in his seat. “Too much? I told you it’s hard to control sometimes, the scent and everything; it has a way of overpowering the senses and all logical thought.”
“No, it’s fine. Just unexpected is all.”
Silence fell between the two of them as the finished their meals; Stiles pushed the last remaining bites around the pool of syrup, keeping his eyes on his plate, even when he could feel Derek’s on him.
Derek placed his fork down, resting his elbows on the table with a sigh. “Stiles-”
“I’m broken you know.” The boy said.
“Then I’ll fix you.” Derek said earnestly.
Stiles’ eyes jumped up, landing on the hazel pair across from him. “You can’t just fix me Derek. There’s a lot of damage here.” He said, gesturing to his whole being.
“Why do you do this?” Derek asked, sounding frustrated and on the verge of angry.
“This self-loathing, self-sabotage thing?”
Stiles narrowed his gaze at Derek, a look crossing his face that said he didn’t understand how Derek could even ask something so ridiculous. “I killed my best friend’s girlfriend, ex-girlfriend whatever. I killed my others friends boyfriend. I almost killed you; I almost had you kill Argent. I walked through a hospital killing literally everything with a heartbeat. Scott’s mom could have been there. My dad. I just killed them all like it was nothing. Everyone looks at me like I’m not me anymore; Scott doesn’t treat me the same, we aren’t friends like we used to be and my dad…I don’t think he trusts me anymore.” Stiles’ voice begins to crack at his confession to the man across from him. “I’m broken.” He says quietly.
“You’re not. You aren’t broken, Stiles.” Derek said quietly.
“Fine.” Stiles spat bitterly. “Damaged. Whatever.”
“Stiles stop it. You’ve been through a lot, had to deal with more than any of us after the Nogitsune but you are not damaged or broken. Those things where done by something that took advantage of you; something that used your body to get what it wanted. You didn’t do those things.” His voice was gently but firm, leaving no room for argument.”
Stiles squeezed his eyes shut, clenching his jaw. “I remember everything that that thing made me do; I know it wasn’t me, that I would never even imagine of doing anything like that but I saw it through my own eyes and I could stop it, Der. I screamed, trying to get out, trying to help but it was no use; I was stuck.” He brought his hand up to rub at his watering eyes. “I’m broken and damaged Derek, run while you can.” He said softly.
“I told you, I’m in this Stiles. If you’re broken, I’ll fix you.” Derek said with a finality in his tone. He leaned forward, taking the hand that lay on top of the table. “I will find every broken, fractured bit and piece you back together. Hell, I'll fix that stupid Jeep too.”
“Roscoe is not stupid.” Stiles interjected softly.
Derek’s face brightened, seeing Stiles slipping back into his normal self. “My mistake, won’t happen again.”
“Better not,” Stiles sniffled, “Or no more cuddling on the couch.” Stiles slide from his side of the booth, tugging Derek’s hand.
Derek stood up, letting Stiles pull him to the front counter to pay. “Like you could handle that.” He said, leaning on the counter, handing his credit card over to the cashier. “You’re too clingy in the morning. And you drool and mumble in your sleep. Maybe I’ll be able to get some piece.”
Stiles rolled his eyes, hip checking Derek. “Hey, you were just as clingy.” Derek shook his head, snaking his arm around the boys’ waist, tugging him to his side. “And see, look,” He waved a hand at the point of contact between them, addressing the cashier. “You see this? He’s totally the clingy one, not me. And you know, don’t let these good looks fool you; this handsome man right here, snores so loud he probably wakes the whole town.”
“Stiles.” Derek tones, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Awe, I think I embarrassed him.”
The hostess laughed softly, sliding the receipt and a pen over for Derek to sign. “You two make a great pair, you aren’t married are you? You just seem to be so connected; you have to have been together for a while.”
“About 24 hours, actually…only about 10. Or well…nothing official technically until about 30 minutes ago.” Stiles shrugged, flashing a brilliant grin. “No wedding here, not yet at least.”
“Oh.” She said politely. “Well, you’re a unique couple. There’s something special here, don’t let it go.” She said with a smile, eyes moving from Derek to Stiles.
Derek gazed down at Stiles, tightening his hold on the boy. “I don’t plan on it.” He remarked with a smile.
“Yup.” Stiles beamed. “Long haul baby, long haul.”
Chapter 9: Mumbled Declarations, Sappy Confessions, Movie Cuddles
Stiles grinned broadly as he and Derek reached the top of the stairs, holding hands outside the loft. Derek pulled open the door, gently tugging Stiles trough the threshold behind him, releasing his hand as he shrugged off his jacket. Stile stood in the middle of the open space as Derek milled around, placing his jacket over the back of a chair and moving to the couch to fold the blanket Stiles had claimed.
“So.” Stiles said, feeling out of place.
Derek glanced up, setting the throw on the back of the couch. “So?” He asked with a cocked eyebrow.
Stiles rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet, stuffing his hands in the pockets of the Beacon Hills basketball sweatshirt he still wore. “You didn’t take me to school.” He pointed out.
Derek shrugged. “Thought you didn’t want to go; your hand.”
“I still half expected you to kick me out of the car when we passed, do a drive-by drop off.”
“Hm, maybe next time.” Derek smirked, drifting over to the kitchen, Stiles pivoting to follow his movements from the spot he stood. “So, do you want to watch-”
“I’ve never been with a guy!” Stiles blurted out in a rush, he’s cheek growing pink with embarrassment.
Derek’s hand froze on the open door of the fridge, turning his head to look at the boy in the middle of his loft with raise eyebrows. “…Okay.” He said slowly, confused by the sudden admission. “Good to know? Not sure what that had to do with watching a movie, but…” He continued with an amused smile.
“Uhm, well…yeah. I mean I…no, no it doesn’t have anything to do with watching a movie, but…you got like flustered when I asked about the bond thing, and I was thinking about it and figured…you know…it was something to do with…you and…me…and like…you know. And I…I just wanted you to know.” He finished quietly, head hanging down with flushed cheeks.
Derek moved around the counter, coming to stand in front of Stiles. He pushed his fingers through the boys hair, forcing his head up gentle so he can look into his eyes. “You know, it’s not really a big deal, right?”
“I just thought that since you didn’t take me to school, and the thing with the syrup…”
“That I’d take you back here and throw you down onto my bed? Stiles, no.”
“Really?” Stiles asked, feeling relief wash over him then frowning as relief was replace with guilt. “Sorry. I don’t mean to sound like I don’t want to.”
“Would you stop worrying? You’re not ready, it’s okay to feel relieved, Stiles. Nothing has to happen that you’re no ready for.” Derek smiles, leaning in to press his lips to his temple. “I told you, I’m not going anywhere; there’s no rush.”
“Okay.” The boy said with a nod and a soft smile, following Derek back into the kitchen.
“Back to my original question; movie?”
Stiles hopped onto the counter, shaking his head to clear his mind and let the embarrassment melt away. He kicked his legs back and forth, the heels of his feet connecting with the lower cabinets with a soft thud. “I don’t know, what if you have terrible taste in movies? That could ruin this whole thing. Like what if you’re some closet Twilight lover?”
“I have no idea what that is.” Derek said, rolling his eyes as he leaned back against the counter opposite from Stiles.
“Good, let’s keep it that way.”
“If you don’t trust my judgement then why don’t you pick something then?”
“No way. I need to know what I’m getting into, what I’ll have to sit through on date night. So, come on. Give me your top five.”
“You first.” Derek insisted.
“Fine. In no particular order: Batman, The Shining, Star Wars, the Matrix, and…Billy Madison.”
“Billy Madison?” Derek questioned with a smile.
“Yes. Do you have something against Adam Sandler and his 90’s hilarity?”
“No problem, just you went form the Matrix to that.”
“Hey.” Stiles pointed a finger in Derek’s direction. “That movie is cinematic gold! You show Adam Sandler some respect!”
Derek put his hands up in mock surrender. “Sorry, my apologizes. I never said it wasn’t a good movie, it was just an interesting jump.”
“Fine,” Stiles said, narrowing his eyes at the wolf. “But you're on thin ice, Hale. Insulting my baby and judging my top five. Not off to a great start. Now,” He leaned back a little with his arms cross over his chest. “You’re turn. Derek Hale’s top five movies areee…what?”
“Top five. Okay. Let me think; probably The Departed and Dirty Harry and Bullit. And…The Shining.”
“Four. One more, big guy.”
Derek rolled his eyes and shrugged. “Boondock Saints I guess.”
Stiles nodded, taking this all into consideration. “Hm. Respectable. So, good. This might actually work.”
Derek stared back a Stiles, the right side of his mouth quirked up. “Was our relationship seriously dependent on my answer?”
“I mean, not entirely, no. But it was definitely a factor; poor taste would have put a strain on things.”
“A strain, huh?”
“If you have shitty taste in movies that's bound to reflect in other areas too.”
“Hm.” Derek hummed, pushing himself away from the counter, stepping up to where Stiles sat on the counter. He moved close to him, setting in the space between the boys open legs. Derek leaned forward slightly, placing his hands on the counter on either side of Stiles. “Explain that to me.”
Stiles shifted back, pink creeping up his neck and spreading across his cheeks. “Well,” He began, clearing his throat. “Your taste in movies would most likely reflect on the shows you watch.”
“I don’t watch TV.” Derek said softly, his eyes sweeping across Stiles’ face, landing on his lips.
“Books then. You read, so if you like action movies or crime movies, it stands to reason that you’d read books in the same genre.” Stiles’ mouth twitches up a fraction as Derek leans in a hair. “So,” He continued, trying to act as if his stomach wasn’t doing flips at the feeling of Derek so close. “If your taste in movies can dictate your taste in the other areas of entertainment, then shitty taste in movies means me having to watch shitty shows, listen to shitty music, and talk about shitty books. It gives us less to talk about and would bore me to death.”
Derek leaned in closer, rubbing his nose along Stiles’ jaw as he spoke. “But I have great taste.” He says vaguely, leaving room for Stiles’ imagination to wonder exactly how he meant it.
“Well, good. Cause all solid relationships need good conversation, right?” Stiles tipped his head to the side when Derek’s lips trailed a path down his neck. His eyes fluttered closed and his hands came up to rest on Derek’s shoulders. “This, this is a pretty good conversation we’re having. Lots of verbiage here.” He murmured.
“Mm.” The wolf hummed, pressing his smile to the crook of Stiles’ neck. The boy clung to the alphas shoulders, fingers digging in as he pulled him closer. Derek’s mouth traveled back up Stiles’ neck, nipping at his ear. Stiles let out a soft moan before Derek pulled away, stepping back abruptly. He smirked at the Spark, who stared back at him with a dazed look. “So, what movie?” Derek asked casually.
Derek stepped back up to him, taking his hand. “Movie, remember?” He said, pulling on his hand, coaxing him off of the counter. “What are we watching?”
Stiles shrugged, pouting slightly and nudging Derek as they walked to the couch. He flopped down with a huff, pulling Derek down with him. “Sorry, my brain function is limited at the moment because apparently someone is a tease.”
Derek smirked, reaching forward to grab the remote and turning on the TV. He flipped though one of his streaming accounts, pulling up The Departed. He sunk back into the plush cushions, Stiles wiggling in close. The wolf slung an arm over the boys shoulder, keeping him against his side.
Stiles laid his head on Derek's shoulder, reaching behind him for the throw blanket that was just folded and put back. Derek stretched his legs out on top of the coffee table, Stiles brought his up on the couch, tucking them at his side as he curled up against his anchor.
"This better be a good movie." Stiles muttered.
"You've never seen this?" Derek asked, surprised.
Stiles shook his head. "Nope, although I think it's on my list. Something about cops in Boston?"
"Just watch." Derek told him, hushing him.
The silence lasted close to 45 minutes as they watched the screen. Stiles sat there, chewing on his lower lip, staring at the TV without taking in the movie playing.
"Hey Der?" He asked softly, a small waver in his voice.
"Yeah?" Stiles stayed silent, his question hanging in the air. "Stiles?" Derek asked. "Stiles." He said with a gentle nudge.
"Iloveyou!" Stiles said in a rush, the word flying out as one.
Derek craned his neck, leaning up to look at Stiles. "What?" He asked, a soft amused smile creeping across his face.
"Uh, n-nothing." Stiles stammered, shaking his head. "Never mind, let's just watch the movie. I-I didn't say anything important." He shifted away, looking back to the TV and avoiding Derek's gaze and biting the inside of his cheek as the feeling more embarrassed evert second he felt Derek's eyes on him. "It was nothing, really. Forget it."
Derek shook his head, turning Stiles' head by gently guiding him by his chin, forcing him to look back up. "What did you say, Stiles?" He pressed, his voice tender and soft. "Slow your words down this time, okay?"
Stiles took a shaky breath, nodding with closed eyes. "I..." He pause, swallowing around the lump forming in his suddenly bone dry throat. "I...lo...I love you." He pressed out, scrunching his brow preparing himself for the worst. "I know that makes no sense, but we've spent so much time together and I've had this crush for so long and I think it happened awhile ago, before Malia even. And, no I'm not sure I'm ready for sex or anything, I've only ever been with Malia, it's a little nerve wrecking, but I do. I love you and I'm sorry if-"
Derek pulled Stiles onto his lap, cradling the side of his face with one hand and the other snaking around his waist. Stiles' words faded to nothing as Derek's mouth collided with his, pulling a surprised squeak from the boy at the sudden movement, the noise morphing into a soft moan at the additional pressure of Derek's tongue gliding against his. Stiles pushed his hand up the back of Derek's neck, moving though his hair.
The wolf pulled back, resting his forehead against the boy's, smirking at his sound of protest with the loss he felt. "I love you too." He told him tenderly, bumping his noise against Stiles'.
Stiles grinned so wide it reached his eyes and it practically split his face in half. Derek's wolf rumbled from within, having pleased it's mate in such a simple way. Stiles shift in the Alpha's lap, moving to straddle his legs, his finger laced together behind his neck. He settled back, staring down at his anchor who gazed back up at him, looking at him as if her were the only person he would ever need in the world.
"I'm pretty happy, you know?" Stiles said, his tone soft and fond.
Derek's hand settled on his Sparks hips. "Yeah?" He asked with a smirk.
Stiles nodded, leaning down and kissing the tip of Derek's nose. "Yeah. For the first time since...since...Allison..." Stiles closed his eyes with a sigh, going silent.
"Hey." Derek says to him softly, bringing a hand up to cup the side of Stiles' face. "Come back to me."
He takes a deep breath, cracking open his eyes and flashing a weak smile. "I'm here." He tells Derek, his hands sliding down the Alpha's shoulders. "Everything's been so messed up lately; nothing had felt right, I still don't know when I'm dreaming or not. At least not for sure, I always have to double check myself. You know I haven't been sleeping; there are nightmares almost every night. Being happy...it's like a foreign thing to me now. I...I feel guilty, being happy knowing my best friends' girlfriend is dead and...and it's my fault." Stiles lowers his head, ashamed of what the Nogitsune had done to his friends. He picks at a loose thread on Derek's shirt, avoiding his eyes.
"Stiles." Derek says in a soothing tone.
"I want to be happy, Derek. I want to be okay again. I want to believe you and Scott when you tell me that Allison and Aiden and all those people at the hospital weren't my fault."
The corner of Stiles' mouth ticks up, he brings his hands up to lay them flat against Derek's chest. "Logically, I know that. But there's still part of me that doesn't believe it because it just doesn't feel true."
Derek shakes his head, frustrated but still calm. "I hate that you blame yourself." He reaches up, pushing his fingers through his Sparks hair.
Stiles leans into his gentle touch with a sigh. "I'm trying. I'm broken, remember?"
Derek smile softly, nodding. "And remember I said I'd fix you?"
Stiles nods back, leaning forward to capture Derek's lips with his. "Yes, you did."
"I intend to do just that, Stiles. As much as you'll hate yourself sometimes, know that I'll be here, with you, loving you ten times more."
"CheeseyWolf." Stiles quips.
Derek talks over Stiles, ignoring his interruption; because yeah, he's being a bit cheesy and it's a little embarrassing but someone needs to be there to tell Stiles these things. Derek will gladly get cheesy if it means picking him up from his despairing hole he digs himself in. "You can put yourself down, yell at me for trying to pick you back up; yes, you will." Derek tells him without skipping a beat, seeing his protest bubbling up to the surface. "Try to push me away but if you haven't noticed, I'm kind of stubborn."
"StubbornWolf." Stiles muses, with a small smile.
Derek smiles back. "Exactly. I won't budge. I need you, Stiles. I'm tired of being alone, I'm of running. I want to be happy too; I want to be happy with you."
"SappyWolf." Stiles grins, blush spreading up his neck and across his cheeks.
"With you? To get that kind of smile? I'll be whatever I need to be. As much as I don't think that you're broken, I will work until you finally see what I do. I'll fix you. If you let me." Derek tugs Stiles a little closer, bringing their foreheads together.
"I think I might just do that." He tells him, sounding tired and defeated.
Stiles brushes his lips against Derek's, smiling against his Alpha's eager mouth. He shifts himself off of Derek's lap, laying across the couch with his head nestled in the wolf's lap. Derek looks down at him, beaming bright in the company of his mate happy to smell his emotions settling into contentment. He began carding his fingers through his hair rhythmically until he heard the steady breathing of the Spark as he began to drift off.
"My SourWolf." Stiles mumble sleepily. "All mine."
Derek sighed happily, feeling calm and complete for the first time since the loss of his entire pack.
The Spark will seek it's anchor – searching for its wolf. The wolf will know when he has found his Spark upon first sight, whether the Spark had been ignited or not. Some will wait decades for their Spark to brighten their lives, waiting for the fire to light find its way to its wolf. Some many never find their Spark.
Others, few and far between, are far luckier; only waiting a couple of years for the Spark to finally seem them, to find them. They balance each other – anchoring one another and giving each other purpose and meaning.
Their life is not an easy one, they will be target for their unique powers and enhanced ability; hunted for the mysteries that still lay within them.
But together, they can face any obstacle they face and come out on top.
Even the town Sheriff...