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Derek tries to swallow his panic when “Sheriff Stilinski” flashes across his phone. They don’t talk on the phone much, but they’ve worked together some and made sure they had each other’s numbers after Stiles ended up in the hospital two months ago.

“Yes, sir, this is Derek.”

The sheriff drags in a breath. “Can you come to the hospital?”

His heart rate kicks up and he’s running before he can finish processing the words.

“It’s- he’s okay. Take your car, son, you don’t have to run.”

Sometimes Derek thinks the sheriff may have some superpowers of his own.

“It’s a migraine. But whatever they gave him is just making him puke, and Melissa just got off a double two hours before we got here. I don’t want to drag her back out, but-”

“Sir?”

“He’s miserable, Derek. I don’t know what to do. He’s not any better than when we got here. He might be worse. I just- this is-”

“I can help. I’ll be there soon.”

“I- thank you. And Derek?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Visiting hours were over at 8.”

“I know. Are they letting you stay?”

“Yeah. I’ll be here until I have to go into the station. I can probably swing another couple of hours. Parrish will call me if anything comes up.”

“I’ll be right there.”


The sheriff startles when Derek slips into the room, but he keeps quiet.

“How did you-”

“Probably best if I don’t tell you, sir.”

He shrugs, and glances helplessly at Stiles, looking pale and fragile, curled into a ball on his side, face twisted in pain, fingers dug into the sheets and his temple.

Derek crosses to him and slides his fingers into his hair, trying to keep the wince off of his face as the pads of his fingers hit Stiles’ scalp and he feels the pain pulsing there, shooting up his arm like it’s being released from a pressure cooker. He braces himself on the bed and forces himself to stay standing as he pulls the pain from Stiles’ head, trying not to see the horror on the sheriff’s face as he watches it travel up into Derek in angry black snakes. The pain doesn’t stop coming, but when it slows Stiles moans and blinks up at Derek. He tries to say something but it comes out garbled, so Derek shushes him and pulls his hand out of his hair just long enough to lift him so he can settle himself behind him. He knows he shouldn’t get in the bed, that he should stay ready to leave or to hide for whenever the next nurse inevitably comes by. But Derek can’t bring himself to be reasonable when Stiles is hurting so bad he barely looks like himself. Brave, bold Stiles curls into his body like a child, looking fragile and small. Derek would do anything to protect him. Can’t stand that he hasn’t been able to fix this. All he can do is take his pain.

The sheriff has an odd expression he can’t quite read when he chances a glance at him. But he smiles and gives Derek a fatherly nod when he notices him looking.

Derek holds Stiles against his chest and wraps a hand as gently as he can around his temple, sucking his pain up through Stiles’ own hand until he gets enough relief that it slips free. Derek tries hard to monitor his breathing, pay attention to his pain levels, and keep an ear on the door, but the sheriff notices him keeping half an eye trained to the hallway and quietly shifts to stand between the door and the bed, giving Derek another encouraging nod.

He moves through the now-familiar process of working his hand around Stiles’ head like it’s made of glass, taking breaks before the pain overwhelms him so he can keep going, rooting out every black, ugly bit of pain that’s making Stiles hurt. When Stiles finally relaxes against him, he murmurs to the sheriff, “he’s okay. For now.”

“They’re getting worse.”

“I know.”

“I don’t know what else to do for him-”

“We’ll figure it out, sir. I’ll talk to Deaton again.”

Stiles mumbles something at him but he can’t understand him. His hand wanders until he finds Derek’s arm and he holds on, gripping tighter than he should be able to feeling that horrible.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he promises, and Stiles relaxes just a little bit more.

He meets the sheriff’s eyes and a thousand questions pass between them. He has to get back to work. Derek has to figure out how to stay and avoid the hospital staff or how to get Stiles out of here. But they have a little bit of time. So he holds Stiles, and pulls his pain before it can build again, and lets Stiles sleep against his chest, his body exhausted from fighting with his head for so long.

“We’ll figure it out,” he tells the sheriff again.

“We will.”