His grandmother Yvaine used to tell him stories about the Stars. She would talk about her and her sisters and the things they would get up to in the sky. And she would sing him the songs Stars used to sing when the world was a better place. She never told him how old she was but Stiles knew, knew that she was special.
When Stiles' mother died, his grandmother held him close and whispered into his ear. "What do stars do?" she had asked, echoing the question she'd asked Tristan so long ago. "Shine," Stiles whispers back and clenches his eyes tighter against the glow that engulfs them and lets the warmth keep him safe.
When he was little he was always glowing. His mother taught him at home because to let him be around everyone else would have brought questions they couldn't answer. So Stiles spent most of his younger days laughing and smiling and glowing with his mother.
It was only after she died and his glow diminish that his father let him go to school. It was there that he met Scott.
Scott's the only one that's ever seen him shine. Probably because besides his father, Scott is the only one to make Stiles happy. The first night Mrs. McCall let's them camp in the backyard is the night Stiles finally let's Scott in on the secret. To his credit, Scott doesn't freak out or run away or anything. He just asks a lot of dumb questions about whether he can power a car or toast the marshmallows they had tucked away. Stiles just laughs, glows brighter, and they move on from it.
Over time the stress of worrying about his dad and Scott and high school diminishes his glow to almost non-existent. And then Scott gets bitten and the Alpha is lurking around murdering people and Derek is looming and it's almost like Stiles gets darker instead. He's not really unhappy per se but he's not happy enough to glow. And Scott's too busy to notice and his father is working so much and for a little bit, Stiles forgets what he is.
And then the Alpha is dead and Derek's eyes glow red and Stiles can't explain it but a warmth pools under his heart even as Scott is crying out.
Derek as Alpha means things calm for awhile. There's a fairly steady truce between the pack and the Argents even though Scott and Allison still need at least one chaperon at all times. Usually Stiles.
But Lydia wakes up and while she's not a wolf, she is something so Derek takes her and Jackson under his paws and teaches them. Scott reluctantly comes too which means Allison and Stiles are usually and Derek's new place as well. And Stiles starts to feel a little bit like he's a part of something.
But he'd gone so long without a shine that he'd forgotten, which made his first shine in front of the pack a little more than awkward.
It starts during a weekly pack training session. Derek liked for the three betas to draw straws and then just go at while he and the two humans called encouragement from the sidelines. It's during one of these trainings that it happens. Stiles is rooting for Scott, as always, with Derek on the other side of the clearing shouting tips to Jackson. And Derek looks up, across the two boys sparring, and grins at Stiles.
If Stiles' heart skips a beat, no one mentions it and he blames the flush of heat that travels through him on the weather.
No one notices how much brighter he is.
After that, it's all downhill. No one can tell a difference because there really isn't one at first. His eyes shine a little brighter and his skin flushes easier, but he says it's because of the rush of adrenaline from Derek shoving him in to walls and joy he gets from being a part of something.
Everything gets shot to hell the weekend a rogue group of hunters sneaks into town. The pack is unprepared so of course Stiles and Allison are there. The hunters outnumber them 2:1 and Stiles realizes a bit belatedly that they're fucked.
He glances at his pack, his pack, and realizes that he can't let anything happen to them. Because if they go, he goes. They are one unit.
Derek is in front of him, half wolfed out and snarling and Stiles realizes that the wolves have made a protective circle around him and Allison. He reaches for her hand, gripping it tightly in reassurance and closes his eyes.
He thinks of the pack and of Scott and Jackson and Lydia, he thinks of Allison and her laughter and her spirit, he thinks of Derek, thinks of his protection, and his body heats up.
He can't open his eyes and he can't stop himself once he's started, but he can hear, faintly, the sounds of the hunters running away.
And then he hears nothing.
When he wakes up, the first thing he hears is Jackson's voice. "What the fuck was that?"
Stiles can only groan in response, trying to sit up. He feels hands on his back and shoulders and when he looks he sees Allison and Derek helping him sit up. "Hrgh," he says.
Scott's looking down on him, eyes slightly wide in wonder but with a huge grin on his face. "Dude, you haven't done that in years!" he exclaims and Stiles wants to punch him in the balls.
"Shut up," Stiles whispers because his ears are still ringing a little bit and his skin feels hot. He hears Jackson ask again and then a muffled groan as Lydia thwacks him in the head.
"I-" Stiles starts because how the fuck do you tell your only friends you are part star?!
"I'm, uh, a..." and he trails off again. Really, there is no easy way to say it.
"You're a star." Derek says, full stop, and Stiles whips his head to look at him, which, not good for the dizziness he's still feeling.
Derek never breaks eye contact with him and Stiles can feel himself start to warm again.
"What the fuck do you mean 'you're a star?'" he hears Jackson say followed by another grunt of pain. Stiles doesn't look over, can't, because Derek is still looking him in the eye.
Stiles has so many questions for Derek like how he knew and what else he knows about stars and why didn't he say anything, but for now he just lets him and Allison pull him to his feet and lead him back to Derek's.
They explain it to Jackson in the simplest of terms. This just means that Allison and Lydia are interested but bored, but after an hour the whole story is out. Stiles comes from a long line of stars and it wasn't until he started feeling truly happy again that he started glowing again. Scott looks sheepish for a moment until Stiles cuffs him on the head and tells him it's not his fault. And Derek, Derek just sits there with his usual stoic expression. Every time Stiles looks over at him, the shine gets brighter until finally Jackson breaks in with "Jesus Christ, knock it off already" and pulls out his sunglasses.
After that it's like nothing has changed except for everything. The pack gets used to Stiles' shine and over time he learns to control it. It's only when Derek looks at him with a mischievous glint in his eye or when he lets his fingers linger too long on Stiles' skin that Stiles can't control his glow.
And basically the entire neighborhood knows when Derek kisses Stiles for the first time.
Derek likes to see how far he can push Stiles into shining before the younger man kicks everyone out of the house. He claims it's to help Stiles learn control, but the almost feral grin on his face as he wraps around his star gives him away.
It's almost hilarious how many times the cops get called because of the amount of light coming out of the Hale house at all hours of the night.
Over time Stiles learns to control his star. He's able to go to school and college and get a job and be around people without causing a fuss.
But when he's around the pack, when he's around his family, well it doesn't bother them any if they have dinner by Stileslight.