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He can see the ceiling of the gym, it’s blurry and the chlorine stings his eyes. But he keeps them open and watches through the murkiness, listens to the woosh of water in his ears, feels the cold water as he drifts down to the bottom of the pool.

Derek is calm, his heartbeat slowing down as the water floods his mouth. He is mostly at peace though the burning in his lungs as he starts to run out of oxygen is unsettling. He closes his eyes and focuses on staying calm. Staying calm and clearing his thoughts.

He understands completely that Stiles’ would choose this. To let him sink while he made a dash to save himself, it’s the type of survival instinct that Derek knows all too well. So he isn’t angry, if anything it makes him proud of the teenager for having made a choice on his own. He realizes that he really is proud of Stiles and it makes his heart ache.

The water is making him choke, it makes him want to open his mouth to draw in air but all he receives is a mouth full of water. He tries to let go, and let the water take him. He knows it would be quicker and less painful if he didn’t resist.

But then he feels arms circling under his arms. A warm body is pulling him up slowly but surely.

They both sputter and cough as they sluice through the surface of the water. Derek takes in a deep ragged gasp of air as Stiles’ tries to keep them both a float.

He came back….