This, of course, isn’t the strangest thing. Derek seems to always be seething about something or other. It’s gotten a lot better since Stiles, but he’s still easily angered. especially if Stiles is somehow involved.
And right now, he is.
Derek blows his way into his father’s study, letting the door close heavily and loudly behind himself. His father looks up at him sharply, but Derek continues angrily forward. “Why didn’t you do anything?”
Derek watches carefully as his dad puts down the papers he was studying, sighing deeply as he does so. “I’m afraid you’ll have to elaborate, son.”
Shaking his head in exasperation, Derek lets out a harsh breath of his own. “That’s bullshit. You know what I’m talking about.” At his father’s blank stare, he gets more frustrated. “Uncle Peter being the alpha changing the kids. Going against everything.” His voice is bordering on a shout, and he knows he should bring it down, but he’s just so damn angry he doesn’t even want to bother.
“We can’t really do anything, Derek.” His father leans back into his chair, staring at his son steadily. “Peter is an alpha, we can’t make him do anything.”
Derek growls under his breath, slowly losing his already thin control. He really needs to watch himself, get his wolf under control. “We have to be able to do something, what he’s doing is wrong.”
His father shakes his head. “There is nothing. Even if there was, we couldn’t do it, he’s constantly guarded and we couldn’t get close.” He picks his papers back up, mind already moving from the subject, like this isn’t something important.
Derek stares, shocked at his normally sympathetic father giving up so easily. If there was anyone he thought would work on getting Peter out of his position, it was his father. “How can you just-“
“I said drop it.” Derek’s father, his alpha, demands, his eyes flashing red to remind Derek who he’s talking to; and Derek’s forced to comply. “That’s all. Now leave. Please.” He adds the please as an afterthought, like being polite will make the demand somehow better.
Derek sets his jaw, teeth tight enough it almost hurts. Turning on his heel, he stomps his way back into the hallway, barely refraining from slamming the door again. He can feel himself starting to change, almost giving in, letting his claws start slipping through. Instead, he catches Stiles’s scent and suddenly stops. Everything stops. His anger drains like it was never there to begin with, his claws retract, and he can breathe. Something he realized wasn’t coming easy before.
Without thinking about it, he starts following the kid’s light scent; lightly sniffing the air as it gets stronger, and trails it into the library. He gazes around and spots Stiles lazily sprawled across the rug in front of the fireplace, reading a thick book and impatiently jiggling his foot.
Derek clears his throat, not wanting to startle Stiles, even though the kid probably heard Derek coming long before he was even close to the library. Stiles looks over at him, staring long enough to let Derek know he’s welcome. Stiles might be talking a lot more, but it’s so very rare and always quiet. He can go all day without speaking to anyone, then quietly talking at the dinner table; but only when spoken to first.
Stiles turns the page as Derek comes closer, barely shifting his body over in invitation for Derek to sit beside him. Derek has watched Stiles like a hawk in the near year he’s been with them, learning all of his nonverbal cues; Stiles doesn’t have to talk to Derek, and he likes that. They both do. Stiles would prefer not to speak at all, liking instead to say everything with touch; it’s strange, but Derek can’t say he minds.
He slides gracefully to the floor, leaving a scant few inches between himself and Stiles. He wants to reach out and touch, but knows Stiles would only flinch away. Stiles might like touching, but only when he is the instigator; otherwise he shies away like he’s about to be burned.
Anger wells up into Derek’s chest again, but he stamps it down quickly; before Stiles can sense it and react. Derek clears his throat again, licking his lips, and waits for Stiles’s attention. Once he’s got it he speaks quietly and slowly. “I’m sorry.” Stiles hadn’t looked away from his book, but at Derek’s apology he does; brows furrowing in confusion. Derek swallows heavily. “My uncle- my uncle is the one that’s been turning people. Kids. He’s the one who bit you. And I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry you were ever chosen and I’m sorry you’ve been through hell and I’m even sorry you’re forced to be here with me.”
Stiles drops the book, and Derek hears it and hears Stiles move, but he can’t stop apologizing for things. Things he’s not at fault for and things that probably would have happened regardless, but he can’t stop. He finally chokes on his words when Stiles climbs into his lap, nuzzling his face into Derek’s cheek and neck, whining softly.
Derek looks down at the floor, distantly noting how Stiles twines his fingers into Derek’s shirt and still whimpers quietly, but he’s internally reeling at all the contact. And at the realization that Stiles is comforting him, when it should really be the other way around.
He slowly brings his hand up to run down the crown of Stiles’s head to his neck and the middle of his back. “Shh. I’m sorry. Please stop making that sound.” His voice almost becomes a plea, because Derek really hates the sound of Stiles distressed, would do anything to make it stop.
It takes a few minutes, but Stiles quiets down, pulling himself ever closer to Derek and his heat; shoving his face in the juncture of Derek’s neck and shoulder and seemingly refusing to come out. Derek continues his slow petting, but soon Stiles pulls away, returning to the floor. Derek’s so reluctant to let him go, but doesn’t reach out, scared of how the kid will react.
Derek’s about to make an exit, but Stiles, seeming to sense this is coming, gently hands Derek the book he’d been reading and pulls Derek down beside him. Derek looks at Stiles staring passively and oh so quietly at the ceiling, then down at the book in his hands; he’s not really surprised to find a collection of fairytales.
Derek lays on his back next to Stiles, opening the book to the first story and starts to read, his voice barely getting above a whisper. He sees Stiles smile softly from the corner of his eye; it’s a small, genuine thing. And if his heart stutters painfully when Stiles moves down to lay his head on Derek’s stomach; neither of them find it important to mention.