"You look like walking death," Stiles said, blithely unconcerned when Derek glared at him. "What's the matter, someone steal your milkbone?"
Derek shoved past Stiles and stomped inside. He would've slammed the door in Stiles' face if he thought it would do any good. "What are you doing here, Stiles?" he asked, wiping the sweat off of his face.
The run probably hadn't done any good anyway, but exhausting his body was the only thing he could think of. He didn't know how Laura had stood it after the family had died.
Stiles wandered around the room looking imminently out of place, all fresh and brand new in a burned out husk of a room. "Just wondering why you're scaring the locals," he asked, looking down at the pile of messy sheets. "Dad's been getting calls about wild animals in the middle of the night again." He gave Derek a sideways glance. "You're not out there looking for fights again, are you?"
"No," Derek said shortly.
"Come on," Stiles said, angling himself toward Derek and leaning over to shoulder bump him. "This is me you're talking to. And I need to know if I should start stocking up on Molotov cocktails."
Derek looked down at his shoulder where Stiles was still too close and then back up at him, but Stiles was too used to him now to get scared and back away. He just grinned and shoulder bumped him again, and Derek sighed. "There's not another Alpha," Derek assured him, "there's nothing you need to worry about."
"Except that I already am," Stiles pointed out. "Worried that is. So man up and tell me what's going on."
Derek shrugged and walked away, not wanting to look at Stiles when he admitted his weakness. "I can't sleep."
"You can't...sleep," Stiles repeated, sounding confused.
Derek turned, squaring his shoulders, and said, "I have nightmares."
"Yeah, well who wouldn't?" Stiles asked. "I mean it hasn't exactly been puppies and sunshine for you lately," he said, and then added quickly, "that wasn't a dog joke."
The muscles in Derek's shoulders loosened and he almost smiled. "When an Alpha dies," he said, deciding to explain, "it's not just the pack that transfers to the new Alpha. You get...emotional bleed. Sometimes memories," he shrugged.
"Wow," Stiles said. "That...sucks."
Derek snorted a soft laugh. "Yeah, it does." he glanced at Stiles and saw him biting his lip in hesitation. "What?"
"Okay look, I don't want you to think-I mean, it's just a suggestion and it's not an offer or anything," he stopped abruptly and shook his head. "Except how it sort of is, but-"
"Stiles," Derek said, warningly.
"No, but listen," Stiles said, holding up his hands. "You just have to promise not to, you know, do that thing that you do where you pretend you want to kill me because that really-"
"Stiles!" Derek barks, and Stiles jumps and then scowls.
"Okay, just don't be...you for a second and hear me out. When my mom died it was...I had trouble sleeping and sometimes I would sneak over to Scott's and he would let me sleep with him."
"You and Scott," Derek said flatly, and at Derek's look Stiles wrinkled his nose in distaste.
"Eww, no, not that," Stiles said. "Scott and I are...not that, but it would help. Just having someone there, I mean."
"I'm not sleeping with Scott," Derek said firmly.
"No, of course not, I sort of, ummm, meant me." Derek could feel his face go blank and Stiles rushed to explain. "I meant that I'm here and I could. Just sleep nothing more. I mean, I wouldn't attack you or anything like that."
"Stiles," Derek said slowly, after a long moment, and something in his voice must've clued him, because Stiles was already backing out of the room.
"Hey, no offense, it was just an idea."
"Stiles," Derek said again, and then waited until Stiles stopped before he moved forward. "I haven't slept for almost four days," he said, stopping less than a half a foot away from Stiles. Stiles tilted up his face, meeting Derek's eyes, his lips parted on a breath. "But if I laid down with you, even now," he said, voice low and heavy, "it wouldn't be just to sleep."
"We could," Stiles started, and then stopped, flashing a smile. "I mean, anything for a friend, right?" he said lightly, but Derek could hear his pulse thundering. Could see his skin flush with heat.
Derek leaned in, nuzzling the soft skin of Stiles' cheek until the younger man tilted his head back, baring his throat. "If you do this for me, you do it only for me."
"Right, of course," Stiles said, his breath coming fast. "Only for you."
Derek smiled fiercely before scraping his teeth slightly across Stiles' throat sending a shudder through them both. He slid his hands down Stiles' arms until their fingers curled together, and then he stepped back and tugged. "Come on," he said, pulling Stiles after him. "Come to bed with me."
Derek did sleep, eventually. Peaceful and deep with Stiles curled around him keeping the nightmares at bay.