Stiles felt like he was occupying someone else’s body, specifically the body of someone that people wanted to be around. After he’d followed Derek back to the house, the Hale House, which apparently had been rebuilt, he’d been confronted by who he assumed were the pack. Scott dodged past the Sheriff and his mom to make his way over to Stiles, pulling the man into a surprising hug. Stiles wanted to sink into it; the hug felt so good, so warm, and safe, but then he remembered that his best friend (was Scott even still his best friend here? It seemed like it, so maybe his djinn theory had merit). Stiles patted his friend awkwardly on the back and pulled away, eyes skittering away from Scott’s.
“Derek told you, right? That you lost some time, but you’re safe here?” Scott looked to his Alpha, eyes pleading. Derek nodded along with Stiles.
“Yeah, just adjusting Scotty,” Stiles’ voice sounded defensive, Scott taking a step back.
“Course, bro, just, you know, you scared us.”
“Sorry ‘bout that,” Stiles murmured.
“You won’t know me yet, I’m…”
“Cora Hale,” the name slipped from Stiles’ lips before he could stop it. Of course he knew her, she was the image of her father and Stiles had been working on the Hale fire case just the other night in his mind.
“Very good, Stiles. Somehow, I’m not surprised at your knowledge,” Peter drawled, fixing the Spark with an assessing gaze.
Choosing to keep his gaze away from Peter, Stiles extended a tentative hand to Cora who shook it, a flash of something sad in her expression. Stiles shuffled, uncomfortable with the eyes on him; he felt cold despite the heat of the sunlight streaming in from outside.
Derek’s eyes focused on his mate’s hands, which he was currently tucking into his hoodie pocket. Stiles was cold; Derek remembered Stiles talking about how he used to be cold before everything had settled down.
“Why don’t we give Stiles some room to breathe while we make some food?” Melissa spoke calmly, squeezing John’s shoulder as she walked past her husband to reach Scott, gently drawing him back too. The rest of the pack followed her lead, after Derek nodded at her suggestion.
Erica hesitated before leaving the room “I’m glad you’re okay, Batman.” Stiles gave her a hesitant and confused look, lips trying but failing to smile.
“Why don’t you come with me, kiddo, I want to check you out and make sure you’re okay,” Melissa encouraged Stiles, who hesitated.
“I’m… I’m fine.”
“Please, Stiles,” John asked his son, who bit his lip, he didn’t want to disappoint his dad, even now when it was becoming more and more obvious to him that this was not his reality.
Melissa put out a hand, but he stepped back from it skillfully, and she didn’t try to touch him again. She simply led the way upstairs, thankful that Allison and Lydia had taken the chance to remove some of the more obvious indications of Stiles and Derek’s cohabitation from their room. Stiles’ mind was whirring as he pondered how best to extricate himself from this dreamscape; a djinn dream demanded a dream suicide, but also djinn-scapes didn’t make opportunities for that type of movement easy. He was shaky and in no position to start sourcing silver, so he’d have to play along for now.
He looked around the room he'd woken up in and his hand bumped into a stack of clutter on the desk by the door. There was a picture frame within all of the mess, turned face down. He looked around, but Melissa had ducked into the bathroom to grab some necessities leaving Stiles to his curiosity. He picked it up and his eyes went wide, no sound came from his throat and he could barely hear a muttered curse behind him as Melissa re-entered the room.
The picture was nothing scandalous, but it was him and Derek. Him and Derek. Derek and him. And the way they were looking at each other, he touched the bite he’d earlier identified as that of an emissary but it wasn’t so; it was a bond bite. He and Derek were bonded. This was definitely a dream… but now he wasn’t so sure he wanted to escape it.
Derek kept one ear attuned to his and Stiles’ room, listening as Melissa grabbed so things in the bathroom, which meant he almost jumped at the nurse’s muttered curse. He didn’t give a second thought to heading to the room to check on things, but what he saw made his heart skip a beat.
Stiles was there, holding a photo. A photo of them, at Stiles’ high school graduation party, newly minted bond bite prominent as they gaze into each other’s eyes.
Then Stiles’ eyes flicked up, taking in Mel’s nervous and apologetic stance and Derek’s hesitance.
“Anything else you want to tell me, Sourwolf? We don’t have kids yet or anything, right?”
Derek huffed out a tentative laugh, taking the few steps that would bring him level with his mate.
“Not yet, no,” he replied, “The doctors thought it would be best not to overwhelm you… I didn’t want to deny anything, but you are our emissary too. So, when you asked…” the Alpha trailed off as the ghost of a grin flitted over Stiles’ face.
“It’s okay,” Stiles raised his eyes to meet Derek’s, thinking that yeah, this was okay. He’d never get this in his lifetime, but here, for a little while he’d let himself indulge. He paused, then tilted his head, exposing his neck and making Derek’s eyes widen, but Stiles just said, “You didn’t scent mark me when I woke up.”
Melissa shook her head and giggled, bringing Derek back to the present. Never one to disappoint his mate he gently brushed a hand over Stiles’ neck, holding it there for a few beats.
“Mel will look you over now, okay, baby?”
Stiles’ eyes sparkled with delight at the casualness of the pet name; he nodded. Oh yes, this was a dream, but he would take it. He turned to Mel, a great smile on his face; Stiles resolved to stay awhile.