“I can’t, Derek. I just… I can’t.” His voice was harsh, and broken, and cold.
Derek stared helplessly, hands extended like a whispered afterthought. He was a failure to let this happen. To not see it, to see the Nogitsune in him so late, to not see Stiles, his Stiles, the pack’s Stiles, so utterly broken. So broken that his body could be taken over. So broken that he could kill people. So broken that he could do this.
They should have supported him.
Derek should have supported him.
But he had become so caught up in the supernatural, in his conflicts with Scott, conflicts with the Argents, conflicts with the whole damn pack, with his inability to be a proper alpha, a righteous alpha, that he had let Stiles slip through the cracks of the floorboards making up Derek’s own thoughts until he was only a sliver of brain space comparable to the dust bunnies running underneath his own bed. And now…
Stiles, whose legs had been bricks able to rip through the bed sheets, whose thoughts and pure essence of life had steamed and shrieked from under the clothes he wore and presented themselves through the absolute blurbs of words he had spurted was not here.
Derek wanted that Stiles to be here. To make some remark about his eyebrows or his stupid sourwolf face or circumcision or his inability to make himself unhorny or… or… something.
But Stiles couldn’t be that something right now. Maybe not ever again.
That’s probably why he had climbed through Stiles window to find him with a large glass of water and a varying array of pill bottles arranged neatly across his desk.
Derek didn’t know whether the pills themselves or the neatness scared him more.
“I don’t have time for your tears, Derek.” His works weren’t harsh, weren’t cruel, weren’t unkind. They were there. “I don’t even have time for my own anymore.”
His hand reached slowly, the too-small blue-green veins drifting across the pale skinny skin. It grasped the orange of the first bottle, the other moving for the white child-proof top.
“No.” Derek was broken. Stiles did not stop.
“No!” Derek was Determined. Stiles did not stop.
“NO!” Derek was enraged. Stiles did stop. Maybe only because Derek launched himself across the room to knock him over and send the bottles flying, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was keeping Stiles warm, keeping him safe, keeping him alive.
He pressed into him on the floor, nose to nose, chest to chest, as Stiles struggled. Derek intertwined their fingers when Stiles tried to hit him, pressed his face into the crook of Stiles’ neck when he tried to crack their foreheads together, interlocked their legs when Stiles tried to bring them up underneath Derek to throw him off.
“Why?” Stiles’ voice was vehement now, unforgiving in its capacity. Derek lifted his head searching and searching Stiles’ eyes for… he didn’t know what for.
But he found it.
“Because I love you.” Derek’s feelings came with Derek’s admittance.
Stiles stilled. Their eyes locked. Derek saw when his shut down.
“Get off of me.”
Derek’s heart became deadweight in his chest. Now Derek let Stiles hit him, let him crack their heads together, let him reach his long legs underneath Derek’s body to kick him off. He pushed into a slumped sitting position against the desk, shoulders hunched, hands limp, eyes unseeing.
“You can’t love me Derek.” Derek’s head jerked up sharply, finding Stiles standing across the room. “I won’t let you love this.” His hands fisted in his arms, nails digging into skin, ripping, tearing at the unseen.
Stiles’ hands slammed backwards into the wall, bones creaking, heart screaming. “You don’t love this me, Derek. This is a me you would never fall in love with.” The words were spat, Stiles’ face holding the weight of his personal and fiery hell. His snarl of a mouth revealed milky white teeth that matched his milky white skin.
Derek wanted to caress color high into his cheeks, press away the fear in his eyes, kiss away the sharp downward slant in his mouth.
“I don’t care.” The words slipped from his mouth like a promise.
Stiles pressed his fists into his eyes, the back of his head into the wall. Derek pushed himself up. His arms were against him and trapping Stiles within three thrums of his heart.
“I don’t care.” A nose nudged hands away from eyes, lips brushed lips and Derek heard both of their hearts breaking.
“Everything is dark, Derek.” The words were a breath, a wisp, a shriveled leaf caught in the wind. Tears clogged their eyes and shook their throats. “I’m going to be waiting in it forever.”
“Then we’re going to be waiting in it forever.”