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We Found Each Other in the Dark

Chapter Text

Stiles sat, fidgeting with the zipper on his sweater. Out of the corner of his eye he caught Derek staring at him intently.

"What?" Stiles snapped, a surge of anger flowing through him.

Derek softened at what he could no doubt smell. 

"Nothing. I'm just —"

Worried about you . He didn't have to finish the sentence. Stiles was sighing, rubbing at his brow. 

"I know," Stiles said when Derek didn't make any move to continue. "I'm worried too, I just... Don't know how to go back. I can't change any of this. Scott —" he cleared his throat when his voice cracked.

Derek reached over, giving his knee a reassuring squeeze. His hand settled there, and Stiles just stared at it for a moment.

"Scott," Derek pressed. Stiles hadn't brought this up on his own yet, and he tried his best to encourage it.

"He can't even look me in the eye. Or I can't look him in the eye." Stiles blew out a breath, shaking his head. "How badly do you have to fuck up to not be able to have your best friend for life look you in your eye, Derek?"

Derek just gave him a small, sad smile as he said, "Pretty fucking bad, Stiles."

Stiles frowned in response.

"But that... Thing. That wasn't you, Stiles. That wasn't your fault."

"Okay, but it definitely was. My fault."

"How so?" Derek's dark brows pulled together in concern. 

Stiles stood up from the couch, shaking out his arms as he began to pace.

"If I had accepted the bite at literally any time that I was offered, I could have been the one saving people, and not..." Stiles cleared his throat. "Allison might still be alive. If I had taken the bite. I just..." Stiles stopped in the middle of the room, looking right at Derek. "I didn't want to give any part of myself over to the wolf. I didn't want to stop being me. For any reason at all. Even for a second. Especially because of that fucking thing." Stiles shuddered.

Derek's shoulders relaxed as he realized this had nothing to do with not accepting the bite at all. It was a confession, an apology, and a vent.

Derek stood, closing the distance between him and Stiles. He clapped a hand on his shoulder, pulling him in for a tight hug. One arm wrapped around Stiles' shoulders, the other going to his still damp hair.

Stiles was tense for a few moments, but Derek held him, waiting for his heartbeat to calm. When the first sniffle came from Stiles, the shoulder of Derek's shirt going wet from tears as Stiles held onto him, he just squeezed him in response.

As Stiles silently cried, the room filled with the scent of his anger and hurt. Derek held him through it, quietly telling him about the time shortly after the fires. How much destruction he had caused to everyone and everything that came into his path. How he had to deal with his own self-hatred even to this day, and how much Stiles had helped with that process. That made Stiles pull back, a confused look on his tear streaked face.

Derek wiped the tears from Stiles' swollen cheeks, smiling just a bit.

"That's a story for another day," Derek said.

"Tomorrow?" Stiles asked, scanning Derek's face.

"Definitely not." Derek glanced at the clock, blowing out a breath at how late it had gotten. "I'm gonna call your dad. It's probably best if you just stay here again tonight. I washed your pajamas, they're on the bed."

Derek gave Stiles one more squeeze on his shoulder before going to look for his phone. Stiles quietly left the living room, pulling himself up the spiraling staircase of the loft.

Derek watched as he disappeared, only calling once he was out of earshot.

"What's wrong?" the sheriff greeted. Derek heard keys jingling on the other line.

"Nothing. I'm just calling to let you know Stiles is staying here again tonight. He's had a rough evening."

The sheriff let out a rushed breath of relief, and Derek heard the keys drop onto the table. "Thank you for being so... Welcoming, Derek. I just... Don't know what to do."

"Neither do I, sir. But I really — I care about Stiles. I want to know that he's safe, and I can do that best if he stays here."

"Do you think he's going to harm himself?"

The question had a growl ripping out of his throat before he could stop it.

"No," Derek gritted out. He pulled the phone away from his ear, taking a deep breath before trying again. "No, he won't. He's just mad at himself, and believes everyone else is as well. He doesn't know how to go back to being himself." 

Derek's throat tightened. Hearing the sheriff's response made him realize how similar his own conversation with Stiles' father had been when they were checking on his mental state.

There was no going back, but ending it had never been an option for him. He hoped Stiles felt the same way.

"— Thank you, son." The sheriff said, before hanging up the phone. He stared at it for a moment before setting it on the counter. He left it down there as he went around turning off the lights, leaving the entrance light on in case Stiles needed to come down for something.

Stiles had been here for weeks. He had spent a week at home but when Derek went to check on him it was so obvious that the boy needed rest. The bags under his eyes  were darker than he had ever seen them, and Stiles was barely speaking to anyone.

The calls to the sheriff were their way of checking in. The sheriff would occasionally come over for lunch on days where the town was calm enough to allow it. As he would leave, the sheriff would give Derek a large hug. Thanking him, with tears in his eyes as he left.

A year ago, he never would have let Stiles sleep in his bed. Hell, probably not even a month ago, before all of this mess. But now... As he watched Stiles settling into his side of the bed, he needed Stiles close. He needed to be there when Stiles woke up from nightmares so bad he ended up screaming himself hoarse before he fell back asleep in Derek's arms. He needed to be there when Stiles couldn't fall asleep until the morning sun made its way through the blinds and the rest of the world woke to go about their days.

Derek swallowed around a lump in his throat, as a realization crossed over him. He absolutely needed Stiles here, just as badly as Stiles needed to be here. Stiles looked up at him, concern flashing across his tired face. A silent question passed between them.

"Another day," Derek explained as he climbed into bed. Their mixed scents made his mouth water and he had to look away from Stiles to keep his head clear. He distracted himself by turning out the light.

The room was now cast in shadows coming from Stiles’ small crescent moon night-light. Stiles could probably only see the silhouette of Derek, but Derek could see every inch of Stiles’ face as he watched him nuzzle sleepily into his pillow.

"Another day," Stiles responded before he closed his eyes. Derek held his breath as he listened, finally releasing it as Stiles fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The sharp scent of fear woke Derek just moments before Stiles started screaming. Derek sat up, quickly turning to Stiles before he gripped his slick shoulder. The poor boy was absolutely drenched in sweat.

"Stiles," Derek shouted. He gave the boy one firm shake, which was usually enough to get him to open his eyes and realize he wasn't alone, and he wasn't trapped in the dark.

Not this time, though. Fuck .

Derek clapped his hands, The Clapper being a request of Stiles'. Whether or not he was joking, Derek wasn't sure, but it came in handy for nights like this.

Derek was on his knees, working on getting Stiles to a sitting position.
"Stiles! Please, wake up."

Stiles' eyes opened as he screamed again, and he immediately tried to get away, but Derek held him firmly.

His voice was just as firm as his grasp, but not harsh as he said, "You are safe. You're awake. Here, look at your hands."

Derek gripped Stiles' wrists, lifting his hands so the boy could count his fingers.

Derek listened as Stiles' heartbeat started to relax along with his body.

"You're safe, and you're awake." Derek rushed out on a breath, checking over Stiles' face as he pushed some of his sweat slick hair back. "Would you like a shower?"

"Yeah, I probably should." Stiles was looking down at himself, disgust etching his features. He took a deep breath, covering his eyes with his hands.

Derek clapped his hands, and all but one light turned off, making the room dimmer for Stiles' sensitive eyes.

"I stopped trying to run, like you told me to do. I tried fighting them instead, but it just feels so fucking real . God, brains are assholes," Stiles said, turning to look at Derek.

"Yeah, I agree. You made it out, though, Stiles. You were stronger once again."
"Yeah," Stiles said with a small laugh. "Can you show me how to work your shower again?"

"Yeah, I can."

Derek got him a towel, one that Stiles had brought over from his own house because he claimed that Derek's plush towels didn't know how to dry a body properly. Derek didn't argue, but he preferred to air-dry himself.

After getting Stiles' approval of the temperature, Derek turned to leave him to it.

"Could... Could you stay? I just — I'm not ready to be alone, yet." Stiles said, poking his head out of the already steamy shower.

"Yeah," Derek said, turning on his heel. "I can stay."

Derek found a spot on the counter across the room from the shower. Stiles' body was completely blocked by steam at this point as Derek talked to him about anything that came to mind.

The conversation drifted from Stiles' school, to his appointment in the morning. Stiles quickly changed the conversation to Derek needing more art around the loft, which Derek agreed to. After a while Stiles took over the conversation, and Derek was happy to close his eyes, responding when Stiles needed him to.

Derek must have drifted off at some point, because he woke to Stiles poking him in the chest, the red towel wrapped around his waist.

"Can we change the sheets? They're sorta full of my sweat." Stiles said, cheeks looking a bit pink at the confession.

"Yeah, I'll get some sheets. You put on a pair of my sweats and I'll be right back."

Stiles went to Derek's dresser, pulling out a pair of grey sweats that were just a little too big on him. Derek smiled when he saw Stiles holding up the pants by the waistband, tossing the clean sheets onto the dry part of the bed.

"Let me help you," Derek said. Before Stiles could respond, Derek's fingers were fishing into the waistband of the sweats. Stiles' breath hitched while Derek tightened them up around his waist.

Derek's nostrils flared as a sweet scent filled the room. He inhaled deeply, feeling it settle in his chest down to his groin. Fuck. He had smelled Stiles' arousal more times than he could count, but never like this. Never when it was just the two of them, with his scent already coiled so tightly around Stiles'. Never when they were to share the same bed.

Derek turned away from Stiles and his flushed chest to rip the soiled sheets off. He had to absolutely wrestle the fitted sheet onto the large mattress, ending up stretching across it to keep all of the corners tucked.

Stiles got a good laugh in, snapping a photo of the Alpha which he refused to delete. Really, Derek didn't want him to. When Stiles was finally done watching the struggle, he came to tuck in the remaining sides, shaking his head.

"I honestly don't know how you survived this long without me here, Derek," Stiles said into the dark once they were tucked back into the bed. He had been poking fun at Derek, mimicking how shocked he was when the sheet wasn't working.

"Yeah," Derek sighed, watching Stiles move around in the dark. "Neither do I."

Chapter Text

"I'll be back in an hour and fifteen minutes," Stiles said for the fifth time that morning. He was beginning to get annoyed with himself, but he couldn't stop.

"Yes, you will."

"I will," Stiles responded, looking up at Derek.

Derek sighed, knowing exactly what that look meant.

"From what I remember, first days are usually just an introduction. Like a less formal job interview. Which is why you're allowed to wear a Black Panther t-shirt," Derek said, tugging on the material at Stiles’ chest.

"You guys won't talk about it right away. Hell, you might not talk about it for months.”

“Months,” Stiles said, pursing his lips, “But what are we supposed to talk about until we talk about it. Do I tell her that my best friend is a werewolf, and I'm currently living with a werewolf in a random loft on the edge of town? Do I tell her the truth? The whole truth?”

“If you want to end up back in that hospital, you could tell her the truth,” Derek said. Stiles just shuddered in response before Derek added, “Exactly. You're going to be late.”

 “No I'm n– fuck!” Stiles reached for his backpack, slinging it over his shoulders before he ran for the door. The last thing he heard was Derek's chuckle as the door slid shut behind him.

 He zipped up his jacket, making his way for the stairs. He was jogging down them when he felt his feet slipping out from beneath him. His hand gripped onto the rail, stopping him from hitting his head as his hip slammed into the cement step below him.

 He took a second to catch his breath before pulling himself back up. He fixed his jacket, carefully making the rest of the trip down the steps without any other issues.

 Starting up the Jeep was a whole process in the cold. It involved a lot of swearing and praying to Gods that Stiles no longer believed in, but it always worked. The engine came to life with a roar, and he made his way to the therapist's office.

 He rushed inside, his nervous energy not matching the calm radiating around inside of the small waiting room. He walked up to a thin guy with the most golden curls on top of his head sitting behind the desk.

 At first, Stiles didn't say anything because the kid before him looked so familiar. He looked at the nametag and practically shouted, “Isaac!”

 The kid flinched at the sound, and Stiles made a small sound of apology.

 “I think you're in my biology class.”

 “Yeah, Stiles. Hi,” Isaac said. “Um, you're not meeting with Dr. Foster today. You just need to fill out some paperwork.”

 Stiles was handed a clipboard and a pen, and began to fill out the information while standing right there at the desk. He was tapping his pen on the desk, making Isaac cringe.

 “Do I need to put my legal name on these forms,” he asked Isaac, who clearly seemed fed up with him already.

 “They're medical documents, Stiles. Yes. Feel free to take a seat if that would make you more comfortable,” Isaac said, giving a pointed look at the seats directly behind Stiles.

 Stiles pursed his lips, picking up his clipboard and going to take a seat. His leg shook as he filled out his information, knowing damn well Isaac was going to ask about his name. He filled out the questionnaire which felt a lot like the homework he got in second grade, and then he was done.

 He went to go give Isaac the clipboard, and Isaac's brows just rose when he saw Stiles’ real name written out. Isaac was beginning to try to pronounce it, making Stiles’ sigh.

 “Mike-zi-slaw?” Isaac asked.

 Stiles laughed, his head shaking, “Not even close, my guy. Am I good to go?”

 “Yeah, go ahead,” Isaac said, his face still looking puzzled as Stiles turned and left the room.

 Looking at his phone, he saw that only 30 minutes had passed since leaving the loft. He wasn't quite ready to go back there yet, and he was sure Derek would appreciate some alone time.

 He found himself calling Scott before he could think of a different plan.

 “Hey, man,” Scott answered. He was one of the few people Stiles knew with the ability to smile through a phone.

 “Hey, are you busy? Therapy ended up just being paperwork and I sort of want to get out of the house.”

 “Yes, please. Come over,” Scott answered. Stiles could hear the very obvious sounds of Scott cleaning his room in a rush, and couldn't help but smile.

 “Okay, I'm on my way.” Stiles hung up, getting in his Jeep.

 He thought about texting Derek to let him know he was going to Scott's, but he wasn't even supposed to be back for another 40 minutes so he just left it.

 He drove to Scott, turning the music up to drown out any of the nervous thoughts swimming around his head about how this was going to go. Scott had been his best friend for as long as he could remember.

 How bad could it possibly be?


Chapter Text

How bad could it be? Real bad.

The second Stiles’ knuckles touched the door, Scott was opening it.

“Stiles!” Scott pulled him into a hug, right there in the doorway. The step was making it so Stiles’ face was pressed right to his chest which made it both difficult and awkward to breathe.

“Scott. Hey, buddy. How have you been?” Stiles pulled back so he could look at his best friend, seeing Scott's wide eyes.

“No, we don't need to talk about me. Come in.” Scott backed into the house, urging Stiles forward with a hand.

Stiles blew out a breath, wiping his shoes on the mat before entering. He looked around the familiar space that used to feel like his second home. Looking at it now, it didn't feel that way at all.

“Dude, I saw Isaac Lahey at my therapist's office today,” Stiles said, kicking off his boots.

“Oh, really? I forgot he worked there. We just hung out yesterday after practice.”

Stiles’ step faltered a bit, and he had to stop to look at Scott. Now that hurt.

“Do you want something to drink?” Scott asked, not waiting for a response before walking into the kitchen.

“Yeah, a beer would be great,” Stiles said, following after Scott.

At Scott's incredulous look, Stiles rolled his eyes.

“That was a joke, Scottie. Since I've been staying with Derek I've been much more of a whiskey guy. That was also a joke,” Stiles said before Scott could respond. “I'll take a glass of water.”

A muscle in Scott's jaw twitched when he heard Derek's name, but he still went to get him a glass. Stiles saw him staring at the large wooden block of knives, brows raising as Scott lifted the block and put it in the cupboard next to the glasses. He could tell he was trying to be sly about it.

Stiles stood there with a shocked expression on his face, even as Scott tried to hand him the full glass of ice water.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Stiles asked, staring at the cup in Scott's extended hand.

“What? I even gave you crushed ice! That's your fav—” Scott began.

“I'm not talking about the ice, Scott. What the fuck is up with the knives?”

“Oh,” Scott said, setting the glass down.

“Oh? Scott, I'm only going to say this one last time. I did not try to kill myself in that hospital. That was not me. Even if I did want to kill myself, do you really think I would come here to do it? With a dull kitchen knife?”

“I– I just want you to be safe, Stiles. I don't know where you're at, you know, mentally, ” Scott said. His cheeks got a bit pink as he spoke, which only made Stiles feel even more angry.

“You could, I don't know, fucking ask , maybe? I'm in a shitty place mentally, but I didn't want to bring that over here. I just wanted to see my best friend, not have kitchen knives hidden from me. I mean, there's scissors on the counter when I first walked in. I'm pretty sure I even saw a letter opener–”

“Stiles.”

“– on the dining room table in there. Are you going to take my shoelaces next time I come over? If I come over,” Stiles quickly corrected.

“Stiles,” Scott said. He sounded hurt. Good .

“No, Scott. I'm not fucking broken. I'm still me. I'm still Stiles, you're fucking brother . Listen,” Stiles cleared his throat. “I'm sorry about Allison. I'll never be able to bring her back. I've tried. I don't know who else to beg for her to come back at this point. I'm not broken, but I'm pretty fucking hurt. I'm hurt that I can't sleep in my own bed out of fear. I'm hurt that my dad doesn't know what to do with me anymore. I'm hurt that Derek has a teenager suddenly dumped into his life because he's the only person that sort of gets it. I'm hurt that I haven't seen you in weeks, but you can apparently hang out with Isaac fucking Lahey. I didn't even know you two knew each other,” Stiles said. His cheeks felt wet, and he knew he was crying but couldn't stop.

“You don't know everyone I know,” Scott said with a small voice.

Stiles ignored that and the pang it caused in his chest as he continued, “If you have a question for me just ask it. And at least have the decency to hide the sharp objects before I get in the house. I know your intentions are good, Scott, but they're pretty fucking misplaced.”

Stiles turned to leave, but immediately turned back and chugged the water. “Thanks,” he said under his breath before picking up his boots and leaving out the door.

He stuck the keys in the Jeep, which thankfully started the first try, then he was off. He wiped the tears from his cheeks, muttering angrily to himself.

Where was he supposed to go? He couldn't go back to the loft right now and make Derek have to deal with this mood of his. That wasn't fair for him.

He had a bit less than a quarter tank of gas, so he decided to go for a drive down the 5. He sped up onto the highway, merging easily with the light traffic. It had been a while since Roscoe had gone above 60 MPH, so shifting gears was a little rough, but once he got up to speed it was a shaking mess.

Still, Stiles fucking loved it. Turning the music up, he sped South leaving Beacon Hills behind it. Chico was only 45 miles away, and he was sure he'd make it there in time to fuel up.

Except he didn't. The engine stalled and died 10 miles before his exit.

“Fuck,” Stiles shouted. He tried starting the engine again, but it just seemed to shout back at him.

He first reached for his gas tank, which he quickly remembered was in the back of Derek's Camaro from the last time this happened. He dug around his backpack looking for his phone.

He immediately called Derek, ignoring all of the unread texts from Scott.

As soon as he heard Derek's voice Stiles said, “Hey, can you come pick me up? I'm 10 miles away from the Chico exit. Bring gas, please.”

Derek was silent for a moment before saying, “Your therapist is not in Chico, Stiles.”

“Can you please just come and get me?”

“I'll be there in 40 minutes,” Derek said before ending the call.

Chapter Text

Derek got there in an hour. As soon as the Camaro pulled up in front of Stiles’ Jeep, he poked his head inside the driver’s side window.

“What took you so long?” Stiles asked before Derek could say anything.

“All of my sweats were dirty. I had to find jeans.”

“It took you an extra 20 minutes to squeeze your ass into some jeans?”

Derek gave Stiles an exasperated look before opening the door on him. Stiles stumbled back with a laugh, following Derek back to his car. He watched Derek walk, noticing that the jeans were tight enough that it probably had taken him an extra 20 minutes. He accidentally walked into Derek when he stopped, and if he wasn’t a werewolf he probably would have went stumbling into the ditch.

Derek just leveled Stiles with a look, causing the boy to give him space with his hands held up in surrender. Derek pulled the full gas tank out of his trunk, hauling it over to Roscoe. They both kept quiet as Stiles’ tank was filled.

“Why were you heading to Chico, Stiles?”

Stiles chewed on his thumb and pretended not to hear Derek as he watched the traffic go by. Derek dropped the now empty tank on the ground, his boots crunching on the rocks as he walked closer to him.

Derek put his hand on Stiles’ stomach, pushing him into the black door of the Jeep. He stood close, speaking into the boy’s ear so there was no way he couldn’t hear him.

“Why were you heading to Chico, Stiles?” Derek asked once again. Stiles’ stomach muscles clenched under Derek’s touch, breath hitching slightly. “Was therapy really that bad?” Derek asked, searching Stiles’ face.

“It wasn’t the therapy,” Stiles answered eventually. “I didn’t even meet with the doctor this time, I just had to fill out paperwork with Isaac fucking Lahey. You wouldn’t know him. That took up way less time than I thought it was going to, so I hit up Scott to see what he was doing. He seemed genuinely excited to see me, Derek. But,” Stiles sighed, his hands moving to his hair to rub at it nervously.

“But,” Derek pressed.

“But, I think I fucked that up. He thinks I’m suicidal. So he tried hiding his knives from me. His stealth stat would be five, at best, Derek. He’s awful at it. So I yelled at him for a really long time. I just… I needed space. I didn’t want to come into your home and dump all of that on you, and I couldn’t go see my dad like that. So I just went for a drive. I thought I could make it to Chico before I needed gas. I guess I was wrong about that, too.”

Derek listened quietly, but Stiles knew he was getting angry by the way his fist clenched into his shirt. Derek had expressed his dislike of the way Scott had treated him before, and this was just further proving his point.

“That kid is… I’m sorry that happened,” Derek said. He finally moved his hand, going to pick up the gas tank. “Try to start it up.”

Stiles tried, but the engine didn’t react at all. After five attempts he began to bang his forehead against the steering wheel, swearing to himself. Eventually a warm hand cushioned the blow from the wheel.

“Stiles, I don’t really think this is helping the lack of self-harm claims,” Derek said, grinning when Stiles gave him a look. “Let’s go home. We can fix Roscoe up tomorrow, he’ll make it home safe. Spending the night on the side of the road won't hurt him.”

Stiles sighed, taking the keys out of the ignition. He grabbed his backpack before locking everything up, heading to the Camaro. He tossed his bag in the back, sliding into the low seat of the car with a small wince.

He caught Derek looking at him after a moment, throwing his hands up as he said, “What, dude?”

“You smell like blood.”

“Oh,” Stiles said and lifted his shirt slightly to examine his hip. “I fell on my way down the stairs.”

Derek cringed when he saw it. The wound was definitely worse than when it first happened, and Stiles quickly tugged his shirt back down.

“I’ll clean it up when we get home,” Derek said.

Halfway through their drive a particularly rough bump in the road had caused Stiles to yelp in pain. Derek sighed and muttered “fuck it,” under his breath. He reached over, his hand sliding under Stiles’ shirt.

“What are you—” Stiles began to ask.

He stopped when he saw the black tendrils of pain working their way up Derek’s forearm. Stiles relaxed against the seat as pain began to leak from his body.

“You don't have to do that, Derek,” Stiles said as his eyes fell closed.

“Shush. Scott couldn't smell that cut on you?”

“Maybe he could and that's why he hid the fucking knives.”

“He could have had the decency to hide them before you got there,” Derek said.

Stiles just laughed out, “That is exactly what I said.”

Chapter Text

The rest of the ride home was silent, aside from Stiles’ soft breathing and the low, continuous rumble of the engine. About 20 minutes in, the boy had fallen asleep with his hand tightened around Derek’s wrist to keep his hand on the wound at his hip.

Derek had initially went to pull his hand away when he felt the restraint of Stiles’ hand, but fought against the urge. His skin was hot under the touch and that made him uncomfortable in a way he wasn’t quite expecting. He wanted to know how Stiles’ hands would feel on the rest of his body.

As the Camaro entered Beacon Hills, Derek’s thoughts refused to change gears away from Stiles’ long hands. He imagined Stiles’ hands in his hair, tugging on it. He imagined Stiles’ hands trailing down his muscled chest, fingers leading the way down his abs and into the waistband of his jeans. He wondered how his warm touch would feel wrapped around the base of his -- He ripped away from Stiles’ touch as if it had burned him, noticing a sheer coating of blood on his palm.

Stiles’ eyes shot open, immediately looking to Derek for an explanation.

“Pothole,” Derek lied.

Stiles just nodded, his head moving to rest against the cool window. Derek watched him out of the corner of his eye briefly before turning his attention back to the road.

“We really need to clean up that wound, Stiles. It will scar.”

“It can be added to the collection,” Stiles said. It was meant more for himself than Derek’s ears.

Derek had definitely noticed over the last few weeks that Stiles was quite covered in scars. Further proof of just how fragile he was compared to the alpha. Stiles’ clothing choices definitely hid the scars well, but in the brief flashes of skin that he was granted, the small white lines were just as scattered as the moles and freckles coating the boy.

Derek knew they weren’t caused by Stiles; he wasn’t concerned about that. What really worried him was how willing Stiles was to put himself in danger to earn another wound. This was different, though. This wound was purely because of Stiles being a clumsy mess of a human a lot of the time. That was something even the bite couldn’t cure.

Derek pulled the Camaro into his usual spot when they arrived at the loft, and Stiles look his time unbuckling his seatbelt before looking up at him.

“Thank you for picking me up, Derek.”

“Why didn't you call your dad?”

Stiles gave him a shocked look before rubbing at his jaw.

“Because he would have worried about me,” Stiles explained.

Derek opened his mouth to speak, but every option his brain came up with didn't seem like the right thing to say so he just started to get out of the car.

“Let's get you cleaned up,” Derek said before he shut the car door. He was already halfway up the steps before Stiles’ door finally shut.


 


"Take off your shirt,” Derek said as he dug around the cabinets in the bathroom looking for his first-aid kit.

Stiles had already been told to sit on the bathroom counter, which he had done without complaint, but Derek knew this was going to be a more difficult task.

“When did you lose your manners?” Stiles asked, his fingers curled around the hem of his shirt.

“Around the same time I lost my patience, Stiles,” Derek said while ignoring the grin the boy shot at him. “Take off the shirt, it's dirty.”

Derek found the kit, placing it on the counter by Stiles’ thigh. Derek, from where he was kneeling on the floor gave Stiles a pointed look. Stiles ended up taking it off, tossing the soiled shirt across the room.

Derek's eyes followed the shirt on the floor, then up to Stiles’ exposed skin. As he took in the sight, he realized he had never seen this boy shirtless. He looked soft in a way that proved he had never been in a gym, but Derek knew just how strong he was.

The small moles that were splattered across his face and neck flowed down his torso and Derek couldn't help but wonder how many were hiding below his jeans. He felt the wolf in his chest urging him forward to kiss, taste, mark and bite .

His teeth ached as he looked the boy over. His eyes finally began to lift up to the now pink chest and up to Stiles’ face. Stiles was looking at him with a look Derek couldn't quite read, mouth hanging open slightly as if he couldn't quite breathe. But he could smell Stiles, especially where he was kneeling right in front of him.

“Derek,” Stiles said. His voice was more hoarse than Derek had ever heard, just making the alpha shake his head.

“Let's get you cleaned up,” Derek said as his hands reached for the kit.

He was hyper aware of the eyes on him as he cleaned his wound. Even as Derek had to clean the wound with alcohol which he knew had to hurt, Stiles didn't look away. Derek made sure to avoid his eyes, silently working.

As he applied the final taping over the wound, Derek sat back on his heels to breathe, his hands on either side of Stiles’ thighs. He hadn't realized he had been holding his breath, but being so close to Stiles was making him feel light-headed.

“Derek,” Stiles’ voice sounded above him. Once he repeated it, Derek had to look up. His eyes slowly made their way back up his torso and neck, stopping at his mouth momentarily when Stiles’ tongue darted out to wet his lips. When Derek's eyes finally made it to Stiles’, the look in them was all he needed to pull himself off of the ground to be closer to him.

Derek stood a only a few inches taller than Stiles, even while he was sitting on the counter. His fingers wound themselves in Stiles’ hair, giving it a small tug so he was looking up at him.

“Stiles,” he said and his voice sounded rough, almost pleading to his own ears. He leaned down to press his lips lightly to Stiles’, both an invitation and a question.

“Please,” he heard Stiles say.

So he kissed him. It started out as a soft thing, their mouths meeting and then separating. When Stiles pulled Derek in with his legs around his ass, he decided to deepen the kiss, his tongue searching for Stiles’. When they met, he let a low growl escape.

It was Stiles’ hands under his shirt, exploring his skin, that had Derek's mouth trailing along his jaw and down his throat. He pressed a few kissed there caused Stiles to pant, but the sound he was really looking for came out when his teeth bit down on the tender muscle connecting his throat and shoulder.

Derek growled out a pleased sound, pulling back to look at his boy. Stiles’ lips were red and wet, still parted as he looked up at Derek. Derek could see his red eyes glowing in Stiles’ golden eyes, and once he blinked again it was gone. He wanted Stiles to see him, and only him.

Derek moved to pick Stiles up. One arm wrapped around his back to keep him pressed close, while the other went to his ass just because Derek felt like it. Stiles kept mouthing at his throat, only stopping to quietly ask, “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere,” Derek said as he laid Stiles down on the edge of his bed. “I just want to taste you.”