Derek knew, he just knew, that he should have been more persuasive.
Stiles is fresh from just taking the bite - his instincts would be going haywire, his world would be in some formidable form of chaos. Derek should have been the one taking care of that. But out of some misplaced best friend duty, Scott had been adamant that he look after Stiles, that he be the one to help Stiles through his transition, adapting to life as a werewolf. His big brown eyes had pleaded with Stiles, he'd pulled the 'you helped me when I went through this and I wouldn't be here right now without you so let me help you back' card, and Stiles was gone. Derek never had a chance after that.
He should have fought harder. If he had they wouldn't be in this mess right now.
Scott had called Derek not ten minutes ago in a state of panic that Derek hasn't been used to hearing for years, “Derek! Derek, it's Stiles! I don't- I don't know what's wrong with him. He won't change back. He changed, he wolfed out, but now he won't change back. I don't know what to do.”
Dread had immediately dropped low in Derek's gut and he grabbed his keys in a sudden rush of panic, the Camaro roaring to life under the desperate slam of his foot against the pedal.
Now here they are, all congregated inside Scott's bedroom. Scott is crouched in the corner of the room trying to coax out a terrified wolf from behind his desk chair, Derek standing at the door, stock still and staring, unsure how to react.
Because Stiles is a wolf. An actual wolf.
It only takes a few moments, even though it feels like a lifetime to Derek, and Stiles seems to twitch his nose, catch Derek's scent, and suddenly he's leaving the confines of the corner and rushing past Scott to twist and twine between Derek's legs. He's excited, in a way that most wolves tend not to be, circling around Derek's legs almost like he's dancing, nuzzling against firm muscles and nearly knocking Derek off-balance more than once.
Stiles is captivating in this form; his delicate soft grey coat, his striking bright blue eyes flashing at Derek as a soft pink tongue flops out from between elongated fangs. True wolves are beautiful, Derek has always admired them, but there's something different about Stiles, something not quite right with an apparent Omega being able to transform into a true wolf.
Derek doesn't know what to do. Scott's staring like even this is progress, his mouth agape and his eyes dopey. Derek can admit - reluctantly - that there's something charming about Stiles in this form, but it still doesn't mean Derek likes it, especially if Stiles is stuck as he seems to be.
“Will he listen to you at all?”
“It takes a little bit of coaxing but eventually he kind of listens.”
Derek feels a strange sense of self-pride at that but he doesn’t let it show on his face. It shouldn’t make him this happy that Stiles’ apparently refuses to listen to Scott but is perfectly content to nuzzle against Derek. The happiness doesn’t last long, the concern for his pack is quick to rush back in and take top priority.
“I don’t know- This isn’t right. We need to get him to Deaton.” Stiles remains completely unfazed about what is happening, instead he’s still happily rubbing against Derek’s legs, seemingly content to just be near the Alpha.
“Go downstairs, get the jeep started, I'll bring him down.”
“I'm not driving that death trap.”
Derek shoots Scott a glare so savage he’s surprised he doesn’t eviscerate on the spot.
“Well he's not going in the Camaro, so unless you’d rather carry him, I suggest you go downstairs and start the jeep. I’ll bring him down.”
“But how? He’s not listening-”
“Scott. Go.” Derek’s eyes flash red and just a hint of his fangs show. Scott begins to move immediately and, surprising both of them, Stiles suddenly drops onto his belly on the floor at Derek’s feet. Bright blue stares back up at him and a soft whimper escapes Stiles as he suddenly begins to nuzzle Derek’s foot.
Scott doesn’t even try to decipher, instead he retreats from the room and is actually impressed when Derek somehow has Stiles in the car not two minutes later.
“Tell me what happened.” Derek demands, voice gruff and no way in the mood for nonsense.
Stiles is in the back of the jeep, whining low in his throat like just being this far away from his pack mates is unpleasant for him and Derek hates hearing his pack so unsettled and discontent. Scott’s voice when he speaks up is slow and hesitant, like he’s already wary of how Derek is going to react.
“He was restless, more so than usual. He was agitated or angry or anything like that, he just couldn’t seem to settle. We hung out and played video games and talked for a bit but he just kept getting worse and then he started saying that he needed to see you.”
Derek growls low in his throat on impulse, like just the thought of one of his pack needing him so desperately and another stopping him is making Derek feel on edge.
“You should have brought him straight to me.”
“He was fine! I thought he would be fine. I didn’t expect him to get so aggressive about it.”
Scott looks at Derek sheepishly, like he’s already scolding himself for how he dealt with things.
“We started arguing about it. He was adamant that he had to see you but I kept telling him not to leave. It was just after we started yelling at each other that he lost control and changed.”
Derek wants to snap; he wants to scold and yell and reprimand but he knows it won’t help Stiles any, if anything it’ll just make the wolf in the back of the jeep more distraught. So instead Derek seethes, silent next to Scott, trying to drown out the sounds of Stiles’ continued whining.
When they arrive at the vet clinic Derek is quick to climb out of the car, more than ready to be away from Scott and the stifling atmosphere of the jeep. He rounds the back of the car and lets Stiles out, the wolf immediately nuzzling close to Derek once again, bouncing around him like he’s never been more content in his life. Derek simply sighs and follows Scott into the clinic.
Deaton had obviously heard them arrive and is waiting for them just inside the clinic when they walk in. It’s eerily silent for a few moments, Deaton projecting his typical air of bizarre and curious.
“What do we have here?” Deaton’s voice is smooth like velvet, his deep tenor always calming even when Derek wants to get riled up.
“It’s Stiles. He won’t change back.”
Deaton tilts his head curiously, hardly blinking as he kneels down before Stiles, inspecting the young wolf with intense eyes. It’s too quiet for too long and Derek can’t help the uncomfortable twitches of his body; his instincts are screaming at him to reach out for Stiles, to hide him from such scrutiny and to keep him safe.
“Will he listen to you?” Deaton doesn’t take his eyes away Stiles when he asks.
“He’ll listen to Derek but not to me.” Scott answers somewhat unhelpfully, like the question was even meant for him in the first place.
Deaton finally breaks his stare to glance at Derek then, his eyes still too wide and all too knowing for Derek’s liking, “Can you get him up onto the table and keep him calm?”
Derek thinks about it for a few moments. He doesn’t want to treat Stiles like a dog, like a pet, something inhuman and able to be bossed around without later consequences, but he doesn’t really know how else to approach the situation. In the end he reaches down for Stiles, lifting the wolf with a little difficulty (yeah Derek’s an Alpha but he’s lifting a true wolf here) and sits him atop the cold metal table. Stiles shivers slightly but stays put when Derek strokes quickly over the top of his head and mutters “Stay.”
Deaton nods, pleased, and continues to inspect Stiles again. This time he runs his hands over the soft fur, searching for god knows what, and the touch makes Derek’s bristle, his wolf suddenly surging with protectiveness for his pack; he doesn’t want anyone else touching Stiles. Deaton seems to notice and lightens his touch but continues inspecting Stiles.
“Tell me about how he was turned.”
“I bit him.”
Deaton stares at him imploringly, like he’s screaming at Derek without words or a twitch in his expression that he’s not an idiot and Derek needs to get on with it already.
“I know that you know he came to me a few months ago and decided he wanted the bite. You know that we discussed his reasons and the consequences of his choice. I know you talked to him about what it would mean for both himself and the pack.”
“I do, but that isn’t what I was asking. I need to know the particulars of the actual bite itself.”
Derek can only shrug, “It was like any other bite.”
Deaton’s silent and staring for long enough that Derek’s resolve almost breaks by itself but he holds out long enough for Deaton to have to ask, “Was it though?”
Derek’s suddenly hyper aware of the fact that Scott is in the room. For all his concern around Stiles, Derek had kind of forgotten Scott was even there, quiet as he was, but suddenly he wishes this conversation was private, that he didn’t currently have one of his Betas all but breathing down his neck, listening in on something Derek feels should not be discussed in the presence of others. He sucks it up though, he knows Deaton needs all the facts to help Stiles, and if Scott is going to judge Derek for that then so be it, Derek’s dealt with worse.
“Of course it was different, it’s Stiles.” He hopes that’s enough, that Deaton will read between the lines and just let it go, but Derek’s never been that lucky. At the older man’s harsh stare, Derek knows he has to continue, “It wasn’t like the others, it wasn’t… There was already some form of attachment. I knew if it didn’t take he’d die and my wolf was going crazy just at the possibility. My instincts kept driving me to bite at his neck, that his waist wasn’t the right place to do it, but I knew I had to. I was so… I was terrified of hurting him and my wolf just kept urging me to bite at his neck.”
“You didn’t though.”
“Of course I didn’t.” Derek snaps, he’s not an idiot. “It was more than that though. It was…”
Derek’s certain he’s never blushed in front of Scott before, any of the pack really, and he suddenly wishes he could disappear on the spot. He chokes a little on his next words but manages to force them out.
“It was incredibly erotic. It wasn’t like any other bite I’ve ever experienced. I had to… I had to jerk off afterwards. It didn’t make any sense but like I said, my wolf was rioting.”
The silence is the room is thick and heavy and Derek wishes he could be anywhere else. The mixture of Scott’s almost disgust and Deaton’s outright curiosity has Derek wanting to just run.
“I’m disappointed Derek, I thought you’d know better than that. And I’d thought you would know what all of this means. You really need to learn to listen to your instincts.” Derek really wants to punch Deaton in the face during that moment but he knows it would achieve nothing. If he knew what was going on they wouldn’t even be here. “Stiles is showing signs of a wolf who is missing his true mate. He was turned incorrectly and so he isn't dealing with the bite properly, it’s affecting his instincts and his control. It’s also why his eyes are blue and why he can go full wolf - only powerful Alphas and their true mates can do that.”
Stiles purrs, content, where he’s now laying across the silver slab. Derek glances down at him, surprised to find his own hand has made its way into Stiles’ fur and is caressing him, calm and reassuring.
“What are- Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” He directs his question at Deaton but can’t bring himself to look away from where his fingers are stroking through Stiles’ soft silver coat.
“I think your wolf knew when you bit Stiles that it was the wrong thing to do. Not the way you did it anyway?”
“What are you saying? What does that mean? What’s a true mate?” Scott finally breaks his silence and Derek feels his teeth shifting inside his mouth, his claws itching at the tips of his fingers; he wishes Scott were anywhere but here right now.
“I’ll explain it later.” Derek dismisses him quickly, sharply, and Scott knows not to repute that tone. When it’s clear Scott is going to comply, Derek turns his attention back to Deaton, “What do I do with him? How do we get him to change back?”
“Take him home with you. Stay with him. When his wolf finally settles he’ll change back, but it’ll happen in his own time. There’s nothing I can do for him. All you can do is give him time and make sure he is comfortable and content.”