Fast asleep where I keep my memories
He's calling me out in dreams
He visits me
There are things that Derek knows. He is twenty-four years old. His sister still owes him ten dollars. He is a werewolf.
He’s dated Kate Argent for eight years.
Derek knows this, and he knows that his life is good.
(Until, one day, it’s not.)
Kate works at Beacon Hills High as a substitute teacher. She has a dimple when she smiles, and her eyes crinkle when she laughs. She gasps when Derek presses his mouth against her skin.
Kate loves Derek. Derek loves Kate.
It starts, Derek supposes, when the boy walks into him on the street, and Derek trips. Kate catches him (naturally) and brushes back his hair - asks him if he’s okay.
“I’m fine,” Derek says, and looks over his shoulder.
The boy stares at him, a few feet away, red sweatshirt wrapped snuggly around him.
“Derek?” Kate says, tugging Derek’s attention away.
(When he looks back, the boy is gone.)
Laura wraps her arms around his neck.
(No matter how hard she squeezes, it always feels like she’s not there.)
The boy is across the street. His sweatshirt is zipped up all the way to his neck, and he stares right back at Derek. He feels his grip tighten on the window sill, feels the wood splint under his hands.
“What are you doing?” Kate asks.
Derek looks to her. When he looks back, the boy is gone.
He shakes his head. “Nothing.”
She smiles. “Well, then, come back to bed, silly.”
He’s walking down the street when he feels it - a hand suddenly around his upper arm, pulling him back. Derek stumbles, turning to see no-one.
He realizes he must have imagined the voice screaming his name.
(He knows that he doesn’t know who the voice belongs too, but it’s still so familiar that Derek doesn’t get any sleep, hearing the voice scream his name, desperate and pleading.)
The morning after the full moon, he sees the boy again, sitting against Derek’s camaro, face buried in his knees.
“Hey,” Derek says, and realizes it’s much less angry than he expects.
The boy looks up.
Derek blinks. “Why are you in front of my car?”
The boy sighs. “I can’t stay for long. Hell,” and here he laughs, “I can’t even stand up.” Derek takes a step forward. The boy shakes his head. “It’s better if we don’t touch. I’m already pushing it as is.” He laughs. “There’s something I’d never say, considering you’re Mr. Bad Touch.”
“Who are you?” Derek questions.
The boy shakes his head, again. “You have to figure that out by yourself.”
Derek blinks, and the boy is gone.
Kate arches underneath Derek, breath shallow, and he feels her tense.
She comes with a cry of ‘Derek’ that only barely covers up his cry of ‘Stiles’.
She falls asleep against him, and Derek lays there, half way to a panic attack.
Well, he found out the boy’s name.
The water in the shower turns red and thick and it takes twenty minutes before Derek can breathe, much less realize that the water is clear again.
“Your name is Stiles?”
The boy nods, and disappears.
Derek runs his hands over his face.
It’s raining. Laura tugs at his hand, but he slips out of her grip, and follows after Stiles.
“Wait!” Derek calls. Stiles stops, but doesn’t turn around. “I don’t - why are you doing this?”
Stiles doesn’t turn, but Derek can smell saltwater and knows that the other person (this person that might not even exist, and God, Derek is going crazy, he can feel it in his bones, feel it wrap around his heart and squeeze ) is crying.
“You have to wake up,” and his voice is raw. “You have to wake up.”
“What?” Derek asks. “I am awake.”
Stiles turns, smiles, and shakes his head. “No. You’re not.”
He avoids Kate’s kiss one morning, before she leaves for work.
She doesn’t notice.
“Have you ever thought you were going crazy?” he asks Laura one morning. She grins.
“In love? Yes.”
He rolls his eyes. “Generally.”
She shrugs. “When dad handed over Alpha to me, yeah, for awhile. But that’s why we have our anchors, you know?”
Anchor, Derek thinks, and thinks of anger, and then of Stiles.
Kate was his anchor. Not anymore.
“How do you know when you’re in love?” and before Laura can respond, Derek adds on, “Seriously.”
Laura’s smile falters. “You asked me that, remember? When we were kids?” Her smile falters a little more - grows a little more fond. “I suppose that you know when you’re in love when you see that person and everything just...clicks into place, you know?”
He thinks of Kate, of his conflicted feelings - of how it’s been six years and he still hasn’t told her.
He thinks of Stiles, who takes a step back, and urges Derek to do things that Derek never thought he needed to do.
“I think I’m in love.”
Laura laughs. “Yeah, I know.”
He doesn’t have the heart to tell her it’s not Kate.
Stiles sits on the floor, and tilts his head back.
“I think this is the most quiet I’ve ever been.” He laughs lightly. “Guess that’s what happens when you put all your energy into something like this.”
“Something like what?”
Stiles inhales, and it wavers. “Derek, you have to wake up. I can’t last much longer. Please, wake up.”
“Tell me what to do,” Derek says, stepping forward, mouth tight. “Tell me what to do to wake up - what to do to stop hurting you. Please, tell me.”
“You have to wake up,” Stiles says, and Derek can see the shine of tears and the veins in his forehead. “You have to wake up.”
“Tell me how.”
“You have to do that on your own,” Stiles says, and tugs Derek down to his knees, kissing him. “Now go do what you do best.”
“That is?” Derek questions, running his hands over Stiles’ cheek, searching his eyes.
Stiles grins. “Go raise hell.”
He disappears before Derek’s eyes, and something breaks.
Kate screams as Derek rips through her throat, but Derek can smell the wood burning, and hear the screams - feel the bullet in his arm, the poison in his blood, and the electricity run through his side.
(He can feel her tongue lick its way up his stomach and he walks away.)
But he can remember.
It comes back in bits and pieces, Laura’s scream, Kate’s laughter, Peter’s transformation.
Erica’s kiss, Scott’s yell, Boyd’s hands, Isaac’s voice, Stiles’ smile, Stiles’ touch, Stiles, Stiles, Stiles.
“Get. Out. Of me! ” Derek screams, clawing at his head, and feels his eyes bleed red. “Get out! ”
He feels his teeth elongate, his nails turn into claws, his skin bristle with fur.
“Getoutgetoutget out -”
The tattooed woman appears in front of Derek, eyes blue, and shocked.
Derek roars and rips out her throat. (With his teeth.)
“Pestle and mortar,” Lydia says when Derek realizes he’s woken up. Stiles is laid out next to him, hand wrapped tightly around Derek, a thick layer of purple dust.
“Where is it?” Derek questions, and Lydia raises an eyebrow. Derek growls. “Where’s the Djinn?”
Lydia ‘ah’s. “It’s dead. I managed to force it into a slumber before Stiles went in after you. Considering the fact it stopped breathing a few seconds ago, I’d say you managed to kill it.”
“Is he alright?”
“He’s fine,” Lydia waves off. “It took a lot to get to you, that’s all.” She laughs, lightly. “Any longer in there, you both might not have made it out.”
Derek glares. Lydia smiles.
“You talked a lot, by the way,” she goes on, shaking her head. “About Stiles. Are you going to tell him?”
“Tell him what,” he says, and never looks at her - keeps his eyes on Stiles, watches the steady rise and fall of his chest.
Lydia smiles, and runs her hands over the edge of her cauldron. “That he makes everything click into place.”
He stares at her, and she curves her lips upward and stands, throwing her hair over her shoulder as she stalks out of the room.
Slowly, once he makes sure that her heartbeat is a good distance away, he reaches over and wraps his hand around Stiles’. It’s warm, he realizes. It’s warm and it’s real. He runs his thumb over the back of Stiles’ hand, and for the first time in a long time, exhales.
Stiles isn’t awake, not just yet, but his hand tightens around Derek’s anyway.