Stiles scars easily. Very easily. His thin, pale skin just doesn't heal at werewolf-rate and he is constantly being pushed around; Derek, who slams him into walls and threatens him. Scott, who playfully punches his arm or tickles him with claws and doesn't realize they're sharp. Jackson, who is just a douche in general but is a violent douche when he's pissed.
Simple things like that, claw marks, scrapes, bruises, they don't heal like the wolves' do. He doesn't have supernatural powers that allow him to keep fighting after being shot. He doesn't have super strength to lift that fallen piece of rubble off Allison like Scott does, he doesn't have the speed necessary to combat hunters. But he does all that anyway; he jumped in front of a wolfsbane-laced bullet for Isaac, he almost tore his Achilles tendon holding that rubble up, he tackled a hunter when the man threatened to slice across Lydia's throat with his knife.
They all leave scars.
Stiles doesn't wear short-sleeved shirts anymore, or shorts, even when it's hot. He doesn't shower with the team after lacrosse, choosing to wait for the privacy of his own bathroom at home. He lies and says he has to help his dad with filing when the Pack goes to Lydia's beach house and no one calls him out on it. He doesn't let them see the scars.
Until one day, when the Pack is in the forest training (playing), trying to dodge water balloons that Derek and Jackson are launching at them, a bucket of water upends over Stiles and soaks his shirt and jeans. He laughed and shoved another bucket at Jackson, who had knocked the first one over, and asked Derek if he could borrow a set of dry clothes.
Stiles follows Derek into the Hale house and to the bathroom, which was thankfully in the renovated section of the house. Derek had been working on the foundation and walls, determined to pull his home together again.
"I'll go find something that'll fit you," Derek says, and Stiles nods. He turns to the mirror as Derek jogs to his bedroom. He looks awful; his skin is pale and marred with freckles and birthmarks, and when he pulls his soaking shirt off he can practically feel the fat on himself. He knows it's not healthy, he knows that he's a normal weight, but he can't help feeling that next to his super strong friends and pack mates that he's weak and out of shape, unable to run as fast as them and all that jazz.
Stiles has scars all over his torso; a long, thick line of pale pink along one hipbone from the hunter's knife, a small pucker of white from an arrow. A series of four thin lines over one lightly defined pectoral from a feral Omega; small lines and pockmarks from three years of running with wolves. He's ugly, he knows it, except that as he's putting the shirt back on to wait for Derek he realizes the man was in the doorway already, staring at him with wide eyes.
Stiles whips around, his back to Derek and tries to shove the wet fabric down over his abused torso. Derek is there in and instant, the dry clothes in a heap on the floor, forgotten as the wolf is curling his fingers under the hem, pulling it up surprisingly gently. He pulls it all the way off and Stiles shrinks from his stare, wanting to just disappear as Derek leans in, his fingers trailing over the marks.
"Who did this?" he whispers, and suddenly Stiles is angry. Very, very angry, and he shoves Derek back.
"You did!" he yells, burning with humiliation and fury. "You, and Scott, and Erica, and all of you with your stupid fucking claws and hunters with knives and guns and fists and no one ever notices! I don't heal like you do, asshole, I'm just human!"
He knows that his yelling will have caught the other's attention, but he doesn't care. Derek is staring at him like a deer caught in headlights, looking afraid and shamed and sad. His stupid, beautiful eyes are raking down Stiles' torso, to the scars that disappear beneath his jeans and in a flash his claws are out, yanking the denim down as Stiles shouts and tries to shove him away. Then Derek gasps in full-on shock.
More scars, but these are different. Precise, straight lines crisscrossing along the insides of both thighs, the tops and even a few on the back, ending a few inches above the knee. Long, deep, and plentiful, these were not scars caused by a wolf's claws or a hunter's knife; these were made with a razorblade.
"Stiles," Derek chokes out, and faintly he hears the rest of the pack coming up behind him. Stiles is looking at the ground in shame, not meeting his eyes as Derek stands up tall, catching the boy's hands in his own. "Did you--when?"
For a long time, everyone is silent, and they can all hear Stiles' heart racing. He's crying.
"After my mom--" He stops, choking down a sob. "After she died, my dad drank. I cut."
With that, Stiles begins to really cry, great racking sobs that shake his whole, frail human body and Derek pulls him into a tight embrace.
"I'm sorry, Stiles," he whispers, and Stiles yells, a painful, mourning sound into his shirt as he wraps pale arms around Derek's waist and hangs on like it's a lifeline. Lydia wipes a silent tear from her cheek and pushes everyone back, back outside as Derek carefully walks Stiles towards his bedroom, his feet heavy with guilt.
He sits Stiles down on the bed and follows suit, angling himself so that Stiles is leaning on him and he can comfortably wrap one strong arm around the boy, wiping his tears away with the other.
"I'm so sorry," he repeats. "We just, we never realized. I'm so stupid, Stiles, there's nothing I can say that compares to it."
The more Derek looks, the more he remembers. The arrow wound on Stiles' shoulder; a year ago, a lone hunter had taken to sniping at them from in the trees with scents leading to different trunks to throw the wolves off. Stiles had eventually figured it out, but the hunter thought he was a wolf and shot him when Stiles pointed him out.
The gouge on his hip from a branch of Argents that had taken Lydia hostage against Chris' knowing. Stiles had crept around and tackled the guy, hanging on even when he twisted around and stabbed with the blade of his machete, giving Jackson enough time to grab his girlfriend.
An ugly, newer wound low on Stiles' left calf from a wolfsbane bullet intended for Isaac; Stiles had done that one completely by accident, hopping out of his Jeep just as the man fired and stepping in the path of the bullet aimed for the other teen's thigh.
Stiles hadn't gone to the hospital for a single one of these injuries, telling them he was okay, it wasn't that bad, he can get Deaton to fix him up.
What worried Derek the most, though, were the obviously self-inflicted wounds on the boy's legs. They were deep scars, thick and not yet whitened and faded with time. Some were only a few years old, and that meant that Derek had known Stiles when some of those scars had appeared.
"Stiles?" he prompted gently after almost thirty minutes. Stiles had cried himself out and was now just leaning into Derek, exhausted. "Can you tell me why?"
"I...I had no release when my mom died," Stiles mumbled, sitting back and rubbing his red-rimmed eyes. "My dad started drinking but I had no way of dulling the pain, so I turned it into a different kind of pain. One I could handle. I know I shouldn't, that it made me even uglier, but I couldn't help it."
"Uglier?" Derek asked quietly, and he could feel his wolf whining softly. "Stiles, you are not ugly."
"Yes, I am," Stiles said bitterly. "Look at me; I'm pale, fat, out of shape. Scarred, and I bruise so easily, it's like I'm a fucking canvas." And indeed, Stiles was covered in colors, blues and blacks and yellows and greens, with purple mixed in. "When she died, there was no one to love me anymore and now there's no way anyone will ever even look at me."
Derek slowly sat back, holding Stiles' hands tightly. He was mad.
"Look at me, Stiles," he said sharply. Stiles sniffed and glanced up warily. "You're not ugly. You're fucking beautiful. You're perfect."
"I'm damaged goods, Derek, don't you get it?" Stiles protested, gesturing at himself. "I'm broken. I'm weak. No one wants me." Listening to his heart, it hurt Derek that he could tell Stiles honestly thought that about himself.
"Shut up," he whispered fiercely, pressing his forehead to Stiles'. "These scars do not make you weak. You're strong, so strong, to have held on. You're beautiful, Stiles, so gorgeous, and that bullshit about no one wanting you? So fucking far from the truth."
Derek kissed him.
Stiles reeled back, eyes huge and disbelieving, one hand covering his mouth. Derek gently pulled the fragile fingers away and pressed his lips to Stiles' again, one large hand cupping the back of his head and pulling him closer. It was just a chaste, dry kiss, only lasting a few seconds, but when Derek pulled back Stiles' eyes were blown and he had a faint blush on his features.
Stiles dove back in, messily licking into Derek's mouth and hugging him tight as Derek groaned, flipping them over so Stiles was on his back and Derek was above him, elbows propped by his head as they kissed hard and wet and perfect. He could smell Stiles' arousal, and the way the setting sun highlighted his features nearly made Derek come then and there. Instead he groaned again, low and deep, and Stiles pulled away.
"Am I dreaming?" he said breathlessly, and Derek huffed.
"No, you idiot," he chuckled, and Stiles sniffed and smiled. "God, Stiles, I've looked at you for so long, trying to keep it hidden. I just--you were so young when we first met, but so beautiful and smart and brave."
With each word, he kissed farther down Stiles, moving from his chin down his neck to his chest, stomach, and finally pausing between his legs where his only clothing was. With a small nod, Stiles lifted his hips and Derek pulled the boxers off of him. Derek was quick to kiss his way down Stiles' legs, licking over the scars and kissing each one individually.
"So beautiful," he said reverently, and when he looked up Stiles was crying again, a smile on his face. Derek grinned and kissed back up to his groin, hitching Stiles' knees over his shoulders to lick a stripe from his hole to the tip of his cock.
"Oh, fuck," Stiles groaned, and Derek did it again, then focused on his hole, licking and nipping his way around the muscle as Stiles writhed and moaned. He eventually worked one finger in with his tongue, then two, and he kissed his way back up to Stiles' nipples while fingering him.
"I love you," Derek breathed out, and Stiles stiffened, then relaxed, his eyes falling shut as Derek pushed slowly into him, fully sheathing himself before pulling back out and repeating the process. Stiles moaned and arched his back, grinding back down onto him and they quickly had a fast rhythm, pounding hard and fast into Stiles as the boy grunted and groaned. Stiles came first, his velvety inner walls clamping down so hard that Derek was lost in the heat and came with a roar, echoing Stiles' cry before he pulled out and collapsed next to him on the mattress, breathing heavily.
"You're beautiful, Stiles, never tell yourself anything different. You're perfect. Those scars show that you will protect your pack at any cost, and there is nothing more gorgeous than that."
Stiles smiled and kissed Derek again, drawing him in close.
"Thank you," he whispered. "I love you too."
The two stayed like that for another ten minutes, before Derek heard shuffling outside the house and bolted upright.
"Fuck," he whispered. Stiles looked up, concerned.
"What's wrong?" he asked. Derek shook his head.
"They totally heard everything," he groaned, and Stiles laughed as Erica's voice called out to them, followed quickly by Scott's.
"I never want to hear my best friend have sex ever, ever again!"