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Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire

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The wooden floor creaks, almost in surprise, when Derek’s palms push against it. “Come on, baby,” Stiles chuckles, waving his hand in a playful yet dangerous gesture. “We aren’t even nearly done yet.”

But Derek is tired. So tired. To fight back, to feel his skin mend itself together over wounds that he can’t even feel anymore. Everything is pain, everything is hell and he isn’t sure he can take it anymore. He doesn’t want to.

“I can’t,” he hisses between clenched teeth, shoulders hunched under the heavy weight of his own defeat. He’s asked for this, hard words flowing out of him and subtly begging Stiles for punishment and yet he is the one giving up.

On the other side of the room, Stiles shudders. He blinks. “Of course you do.” And it’s like he’s saying you can move mountains, I know you can.

But the thing is that Derek really can’t. Not anymore. Not when he’s feeling so broken and utterly tired. “Stiles.” Another crack in the mirror of his soul. “I can’t.”

There isn’t any rage in his words, only a resignation that Derek feels like he should have found years ago. He’s almost surprised by how simple it is, letting go, it doesn’t hurt like he feared it could.

Stiles’ magical energy floods out of him in a whoosh of warm air. “You bastard,” he then mutters, violent anger burning in his eyes as he takes a few steps towards Derek, hands raised like he wants to hit him.

The most hilarious thing is that he probably could. He could fucking wreck Derek, poison him and cut him open, palm Derek’s heart to feel it faintly thumping between his long, skilled fingers. Derek would let him. Only him.

Only he knows there is no way that Stiles would want this. Him. Too much blood on his hands, too much venomous dust over his heart. Useless. “You should just kill me.”

Really, it’s the only way.

Stiles punches him. “Fucking insane.” His words like fire licking at Derek’s insides, melting him. Derek spits blood on the dirty floor. Stiles’ hands are trembling. “You don’t get to do that, do you understand me? You don’t get to give up like that.” It’s like he’s breathing spikes, bleeding and breaking only for Derek. “I won’t let you. You’ll have to kill me to make me kill you.”

Derek’s lip aches where Stiles hit him, bony knuckles briefly marking skin, and Derek runs his tongue over it. There are cuts where Stiles’ words have settled, somewhere deep inside his chest and the ache is almost comforting. Finally. Finally something that won’t heal.

“Stupid animal,” Stiles mutters, and yet drops on his knees at Derek’s side, his wide, familiar palm resting over Derek’s chest.

Maybe, Derek thinks, he still has something to fight for.