There are hangovers and then there are hangovers.
And then there is the hangover that is coupled with the residual plummeting feeling of whatever the hell it was that Lydia spiked the punch with. Topped with sight of kaminafied Jackson with his tail wagging at Matt’s side like the world’s most demented pet. And sprinkled with the bile-tinged memory of that … that.
Stiles knew it had been just a hallucination. That it hadn’t been real. His dad wasn’t at Lydia’s party. Hadn’t said those words. Hadn’t looked at Stiles like he hated him and said... what that image of his dad had said right before he threw the bottle of Jack at Stiles’s head.
“I’m not sure if I should be relieved I didn’t have to bail you out tonight after Lydia’s party,” his dad says when Stiles enters the house. Stiles practically leaps out of his skin, or he would if he had any energy.
“Sorry to disappoint you there. I figured it was the least I could do to help you retain at least some cred.” His body hurts and as much as he tried, Stiles isn’t sure he kept the hurt out of his voice. Even though it wasn’t his dad, he knows it wasn’t his dad, those words are still ringing in his head, they still feel like bruises.
“Stiles? What is it?” His dad stops in front of him. In his jeans and old flannel and smelling of french fries that he probably had for dinner, his dad is nothing like what Stiles’s deepest, darkest fear had created earlier. “Son?”
He doesn’t realize he’s crying until he has his arms wrapped around his dad’s chest and his face is buried just above the pocket of his shirt.
“Stiles?” His dad doesn’t wait for an answer. He wraps his arms around him, one around his shoulder another cupping the back of Stiles’s head like he hasn’t done since his mom died.
Then again Stiles hasn’t cried like this since then either.
“I’m sorry,” is all Stiles can say on repeat. For everything he wants to say, and maybe more specific things, half of them he can’t share because his dad can’t know--not yet--and Stiles doesn’t have the words.
“Okay. Okay.” His dad’s fingers ruffle the back of his hair, and his cheek is scratchy with the day’s whiskers as he rubs it against Stiles’s temple. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but whatever it is, it’s okay, son. It’s okay.”
Stiles has seen a lot of shit tonight -- most of which he’d rather forget and some of it he knows he’s going to have to haul his ass back out and fight, because that’s what he does -- but he is not going to lie when he says that the sight of Derek perched outside his window is probably one of the best things he’s seen in a really long time.
Even when Derek raps on the glass and gives him a pissy, eyebrows-raised look that says ‘unlock the damn window. Now.’
Derek’s halfway inside his room by the time it registers with Stiles that there’s blood and ash and splotches of purple dust on Derek’s chest and face. He’s just starting to ask what happened when Derek’s eyes go all fixed and determined and he’s got that look pinned on Stiles like there’s a clue and Derek’s gonna sniff it out.
“What the hell happened? You look like -- have you been … your face is all red.”
If Derek’s going to comment on his looks after what’s happened tonight, Stiles is going to give as good as he gets. “And you look like you’ve been rolling around in the dirt. What’s going on? Why aren’t you with the rest of the pack?”
“They’re back at the warehouse. Lydia--” Derek starts to say and Stiles knows, just knows that it’s not going to be good and right now he just can’t deal with it. There is only so far the magical healing powers of his dad’s hug can go.
“You have no idea how much I needed to see you creeping outside my window tonight,” Stiles interrupts and Derek looks at him, a mix of something like surprise and understanding crossing his face.
Derek moves quickly, bunching his hands into Stiles’s shirt, and Stiles is on the same page, threading his fingers into Derek’s hair just as fast. It’s a small miracle that there’s no smashed noses or clacked teeth to get in the way of their kiss. Maybe it’s tempting fate, but Stiles lets himself relax a little against Derek.
This isn’t going to solve their problems -- it won’t get Matt to stop using Jackson to kill people, it won’t fix whatever the hell it is that Derek dealt with tonight -- but right now Stiles would like to tell those priorities to fuck off.
“Wanna compare horror stories?” Derek asks, sliding his arms around Stiles’s chest.
Now that the initial rush is past, Stiles looks at Derek closer. He looks tired, and maybe a little scared. Stiles knows that feeling. He wraps his arms around Derek’s shoulders and holds tight. “Mine’s more of a psychological thriller. I have a feeling the horror story’s gonna happen later.”
Derek turns his face into the crook of Stiles’s neck, “I think you’re right.”
“Of course I am.” Stiles slides his fingers through the hair at the nape of Derek’s neck, scratching lightly.
Derek laughs quietly as he hugs Stiles closer.