For the fifteenth time, he undid, then redid the cufflink on his left wrist, in a nervous gesture that seemed to be the only thing that kept him from wolfing out. Twice his eyes had glowed, and more than a few times his claws came out. Fiddling with the cufflink seemed to soothe him for some strange reason. Probably the same reason that chanting, "Alpha, Beta, Omega" over a triskele seemed to work for young werewolves learning to control their shifts. Repetitive action seemed to soothe the mind. And since he turned, the adderall just stopped working, leaving him forced to deal with his A.D.D. in new and exciting ways.
"We should have made it earlier."
Scott rolled his eyes knowing full well if they'd set this to go earlier, then they would have been having this conversation before the sun even came up. At least this way, they were able to grab a coffee before the insanity of the day kicked off. Looking between his best friend, the other groomsmen, and Stiles' father.
"Stiles. Relax. Just...breathe okay? Look. We're 10 minutes from taking our positions, and after that, it's only another 10 until you get to see Derek. I know it's been a stressful 24 hours, but remember."
He enveloped his friend's nervous hands with his own.
"After today you don't have to be apart again."
Stiles trembled just slightly, eyes water, sniffing slightly as he nodded his head.
"What if he changes his mind? What if I get up there and he sees me and wonders what he was thinking. What if..."
Scott merely laughed and shook his head.
"He isn't going to change his mind. He isn't going to regret this. Everything is going to be fine."
Stiles nodded his head in a jerking motion.
"Yeah. It's gonna be fine. God. I wish I was more like Derek right now. He's probably cool as a cucumber."
Lydia looked at the half-shifted werewolf chewing on his claws as fast as they were growing back. His eyes were glowing bright red, and he kept almost ruining his perfect hair.
"You are so the bride."
Looking over at Cora, Derek growled.
"What. Your entire wedding party is women. A woman is giving you away. I don't even know why you and Stiles are even being given away...unless it's so they can make sure everyone is clear on the no-return policy. You're pacing like a bride afraid to be jilted on her wedding day, and whenever I ask you about your plans for a honeymoon, you blush like a virgin on her wedding night."
That at least got him to stop pacing. Before he could say anything though, Cora was on her feet, holding Derek's shoulders, and smiling up at her big brother.
"You've bagged yourself your wolf. Hell. You bagged yourself a fairytale Wolf. Stiles is your mate. He's the White Wolf of the Woods, and by the fact your eyes are red, you've been given your soul's deepest wish."
Soothing her hands over his face, she smiled. "Mom and Dad would be proud to see the man you've become, and would love the man you're going to marry. Now stop pacing. You're going to wear a hole in the floor."
Giving her a wry look, he merely pulled her into a tight hug, being very careful to not crush the dress she was wearing.
"I'm not the bride."
"You are sooooooo the bride."
Before he could respond, Deaton came into the room with a blindfold to be tied around Derek's eyes. Stiles would be getting a similar one. They'd decided they didn't want to see each other until the exact same time (how romantic...logistic nightmare...but romantic) hence why they were being given away, and the blindfolds.
"Okay everyone," Deaton began. "Time to get started."
They'd blindfolded themselves, and trusted they would be pulled into position, and walked up the aisle without incident. They trusted the wedding party would walk up and be lined up exactly where they were told. They trusted that Deaton would be waiting for them at the front of the ceremony. They trusted in the steady heart beat that echoed in their ears and in their heads that the other would be waiting for them.
Stiles kept repeating in his head that when the blindfold came off, he resolutely would not turn into a bubbling pile of goo at the sight of his intended. It would just be Derek. His hotty Derek in a suit, but still, Derek. He was going to be cool and calm and collected. He wasn't going to embarrass himself, or Derek by being a mess of emotions.
Derek just kept repeating to himself, "Don't freak out."
The music started, and they heard the shuffling of chairs as their guests stood. Hearing the scuffs of the feet of the wedding party marching up the aisle, Stiles and Derek both smiled. It was happening. It was really happening.
Allowing themselves to be guided up the aisle, firm but gentle hands guided Derek to his standing position. Feeling a brush of a kiss on his cheek, he wrapped Melissa in his arms and gave her a squeeze.
"I know I'm not your mother Derek...but I'm so proud of you."
Almost losing his resolve right then and there. "Thank you Melissa. For everything."
For keeping me sane.
For giving me purpose.
For giving me family.
For keeping me alive.
Across the aisle from Derek, Stiles was delivered to the front, and pulled into a tight embrace with his father. His best friend. His anchor.
"I'm proud of you Son. You've found a good one."
Sniffing lightly, he nodded his head. He was not going to cry. He was not going to cry.
"Thanks Dad. For everything."
For not giving up on me.
For protecting Derek when I couldn't.
For finding love again.
For forgiving me.
Sensing that the had been turned to face each other, Stiles steadied his breathing, trying to keep his emotions under control.
Deaton must have gestured for everyone to take their seats. Feeling their heart beats speed up, at some invisible gesture, the blindfolds disappeared leaving them to blink at the sudden onslaught of day light. The were in an area of the woods where the Woods met the Valley. An intersection of two different areas. A crossroads where Derek's wolf and Stiles' wolf blended.
Looking into Derek's eyes, Stiles felt his resolve crumble to dust, bringing a hand to his mouth, he stiffled a cry of happiness. Derek didn't even try. Wiping at his eyes, he reached out and grabbed Stiles arm, pulling him into a partial embrace, knuckles white, as though trying to hold on to a dream.
For a brief heartbeat, it was only these two in the woods. They were vaguely aware of other noises, but for a heartbeat, they were the only two in the world. Snapping back to reality, they smiled sheepishly at Deaton, clearly having been lost in a dream of their own making.
"Sorry. Can you repeat the question?" Stiles had said in a tone that made everyone chuckle.
"I said, have you and Derek decided on your vows?"
Derek nodded his head, as did Stiles.
"Derek. Why don't you go first?"
Licking his lips, and not missing the little twitch Stiles' lips gave when he did that, he had opted for short and to the point.
"Stiles. When you met me, I was a mess. I had a chip on my shoulder, and I hated everything. You called me Sour Wolf, and it got to me. You got to me. You didn't let me get away with being the reclusive werewolf I had been. You made me join the world. Stand up for something more than myself. Be human.
"You showed me that love isn't a weakness. You taught me that sometimes the strongest thing you can do is cry. You gave me love, you gave me Pack. I swear, by everything I hold dear, to live everyday, and prove that I'm worthy of you, that I love you, and that we are mates, for as long as we draw breath."
Stiles wiped at his face, having long given up on being dry eyed for this ceremony. He fought every impulse in him to pull Derek into a kiss they would never break. But then, that was the purpose of today wasn't it?
"Derek. When we met, I was some scrawny teenage spaz who could barely be trusted to walk across the room without breaking their neck. A very short time later, you were handing me a bone saw, telling me that I may have to cut your arm off to save your life. You didn't know me, but you trusted that I'd be able to pull myself together and save you. And for every time I saved you, you saved me. You love me, despite everything I am. You took care of my Dad, and my Step-Mom long after I'd departed. You gave Melissa the strength that night to deliver my baby sister into the world, and defend her against the badness. You say I taught you love, but to me, Derek. You ARE Love."
Derek's lips twitched, and in a single broken breath, he all but whispered, "If I am love, then I am love meant for you."
Even Jackson started to cry at that.
Taking a moment to compose himself, Deaton continued with a smile, and his warm steady voice that defied explanation. Indicating it was time for the rings.
"Derek. Do you take Stiles to be your lawfully wedded partner? In sickness and health, in good and in ill, until death should part you."
"Beyond death, I take Stiles as my mate."
"And Stiles. Do you take Derek to be your lawfully wedded partner. In sickness and health, in good and in ill, until death should part you."
"Beyond death, I take Derek as my mate."
Smiling a broad smile. Nodding his head, they placed the braided gold ring on each other's fingers, to twist in with the engagement rings.
"Then, by the powers vested in my by the State of California, it is my honour to proclaim you Mr and Mr..."
Derek looked up at Deaton, and flashing on the napkin he had framed in his bedside table.
"Hale-Stilinski," there was a smile on his face, as Stiles bounced on the balls of his feet.
"Mr. and Mr. Hale-Stilinski. You may now exchange a kiss to signify the joining of this union."
Without any further prompting, they pulled each other into an embrace that stopped JUST short of being embarrassing for their guests to witness.
In the wedding party, the werewolves threw back their heads in a celebratory howl. The wolves in the audience did the same. A wild cacophony of noise poured through the forest, filling the empty spaces with life, followed shortly by the sounds of celebration.