Stiles calls Scott - not because Scott is his best friend but because Scott is probably in the general vicinity of Allison. Allison generally knows what she’s talking about when it comes to relationships and if Stiles has to sit through another phone call where Allison coaches Scott through relationship advice, Stiles might do something drastic.
“Hey, man!” Scott says when he answers the phone.
“Hey, Scott, listen, can you put Allison on the phone for a second?”
Scott doesn’t even say anything, just hands the phone over, and Stiles briefly wonders if he sounds as wrecked as he feels. Probably so if Scott can tell. Allison probably reads something on Scott’s face, because when she answers, she just says, “What’s wrong?”
It’s like a chorus of heavenly angels when Stiles hears her. “Hey, um, shit. Shit, Allison.”
His hands are shaking. This is so dumb, he thinks as he presses his free hand to the steering wheel. His Jeep is parked on the side of the road because he isn’t sure if he can drive or not. He still doesn’t even know what he did wrong. Panic spreads in his stomach, clawing, and he thinks, Nobody is worth this.
Except Derek. The realization comes barreling into him like a train. He really wants this thing he has with Derek to work. Stiles sags in his seat and says, “Shit.”
“Stiles, do you need us to come to you? Where are you?”
Sometimes Scott and Allison aren’t totally wrapped up in themselves and Stiles can forgive them for all the other times, because when he really needs them, they come. “Maybe, no - yeah, I’m not sure I can drive right now.”
He rattles off where he is and when they get off the phone, he presses his forehead to the top of his steering wheel and tries to breathe.
“How did you think I get weed? I’m the Sheriff’s son, nobody will deal to me.”
Stiles is honestly baffled. He thought his friends knew about the thing with Danny, but apparently not. His mouth might be hanging open a little.
Allison shoots him a look that he isn’t sure that he knows how to decipher before shooting a look at Scott. Scott shrugs.
Allison rolls her eyes and says, “Start from the beginning.”
Stiles tells them about the arrangement with Danny, how he decided maybe that Jackson could be that person for Danny now, about the pictures and how Derek found them and the tight line his mouth shaped itself into. He tells her everything, doesn’t leave anything out. He tells her about the tight knot in his stomach that persisted even as they smoked the weed on the porch of the Hale house and how Derek didn’t say anything to him after Stiles asked if he was angry. He tells her how he walked to his Jeep and when he looked back for Derek, there was no one on the porch.
“And then I called Scott, because you’re good with this sort of thing, Allison.”
“She has a phone too, dude,” Scott says, but falls silent when Allison shushes him. That’s what Scott took out of the story, really?
“Do you think, maybe, Derek doesn’t want you to kiss other people?”
Stiles stares at her, dumbfounded. If it was really that simple, then why hadn’t Derek just told him that? “But,” he says, fumbling for something to say, “but you and Lydia make out all the time! We all make out with everyone else, I am pretty sure that is a thing we do!”
Allison dips her head in acknowledgement. This is a true fact, this is something that happens often within the confines of their little group. “But we all know about it, Stiles. Everyone knows and is okay with that. Not everybody does things like we do, you know that.”
It makes sense, Stiles wonders why he didn’t think about it like that. He should apologize. He repeats out loud, “I should apologize. I should go apologize.”
Allison nods and lets him go.
When Stiles goes back to the Hale house, he’s sort of shocked by what he sees. A somewhat familiar blonde girl - and she’s gorgeous - is crowding into Derek’s space, hands on the side of his face, tugging him down to meet his mouth with hers.
There are two other guys there too and Stiles distantly connects them with the car he saw zipping down the road from before. Stiles is stumbling back toward his Jeep before he can even begin to process the scene and a thick knot of dread pools in his stomach and he realizes, Oh. Oh, this is what Derek must have felt.
He sticks his key into the ignition as fast as he can, hands trembling, and he’s scared and embarrassed and just wants to get away from the house.
Stiles doesn’t stay long enough to see Derek push the girl away, or the stormy look that he shoots her, or the disappointment on his face as Stiles drives away.
“I get it,” he says, head pressed into Allison’s stomach. “I get it, I do.”
Allison runs her fingers down the back of his neck and makes quiet noises of comfort and looks helplessly at Scott, who curls around Stiles’ back.
Stiles has his face pressed into her stomach, because he doesn’t want them to see how devastated he is, how he wishes he could take everything back, how he wishes he never went back to the Hale house in the first place.
“I went back to apologize,” he mumbles, “I was going to tell him I was wrong.”
God, he wants to get drunk and let himself forget that Derek Hale exists. He says as much out loud.
Allison says, “Do you think that’s such a good idea, Stiles?”
Scott pushes back from Stiles and wrestles for his phone. “I got this,” he says when Allison quirks her mouth into a question, “Don’t worry.”
Scott is a really good friend, Stiles thinks, even as he realizes that Scott isn’t getting alcohol, that he’s calling Lydia. Stiles thinks it’s probably a good thing his dad is won’t be home until tomorrow.
Lydia sweeps in his bedroom and she’s brought Jackson and Danny. Stiles sits up and drags the sleeve of his hoodie over his eyes. He tries to smile at Lydia but the smile crumples on his face.
“Do you want me to beat him up?” She asks it seriously and Stiles doesn’t really doubt that she would, but it startles a laugh from him. Lydia smiles, like this was what she was going for, and Stiles likes that it’s a smile that only they get to see.
She lays down on her back on his bed and pulls her to him and Stiles would be concerned about how many people they can fit on his bed, except that he knows the answer is ‘a lot.’
Jackson crowds in behind Stiles’ back and usually that’s Scott’s place, but Stiles doesn’t say anything. Instead, he presses his head against Lydia’s shoulder and watches as Danny moves around to Jackson’s side of the bed. Allison presses herself against Lydia’s free side and Scott slides in after her. It’s a tight fit, but Stiles doesn’t mind. There’s something comforting about having his closest friends within touching distance.
Scott reaches over Allison and Lydia and links his first two fingers with Stiles’, like they did when they were kids. Stiles shoots a soft smile his way.
They lay there, quiet, long enough that the sun starts to rise, leaking light into Stiles’ window. Stiles almost thinks he could sleep, but he feels a jostling coming from behind him. Danny gets up, but when he sees Stiles looking at him he just smiles.
Danny picks up the Polaroid camera sitting on Stiles’ desk and takes a picture of the bed’s occupants. Everyone is asleep except for Stiles. Somewhere along the line Jackson wrapped his arm around Stiles’ hip. When Stiles presses back into his warmth, Jackson snuffles at the back of his neck and sleepily says, “G’to sleep, Stilinski.”
Danny doesn’t let him see the picture once it develops, just tuck it beneath a pushpin on the cork board above his desk and climbs back into the bed.
There’s still a weight in Stiles’ stomach, but he thinks that maybe everything will be okay.