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Seven Christmases

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The first Christmas

 

The first Christmas after they begin dating, they spend apart. They’ve only been going out for two months, so Stiles doesn’t think much of it when Derek leaves town when Christmas comes around. Besides, no one really knows they’re dating, besides Scott, so they can’t spend it together anyway. So, Stiles spends Christmas with his dad, Melissa, and Scott like always.

 

The second Christmas

 

A year later, their friends know they’re dating, and Derek has been over for family dinners on at least ten occasions. Stiles assumes Derek will want to celebrate Christmas with him, since he doesn’t really have any family left. Sure, there’s Cora, but she’s traveling the world and doesn’t seem like the Christmassy type. However, when Stiles shows up at Derek’s loft two days before Christmas, he’s faced with a note telling him that Derek’s out of town and he’ll be back on the thirtieth.

 

The third Christmas

 

Stiles isn’t going to let Derek get away with missing another Christmas, but he doesn’t want to force Derek to stay. So, a week before Christmas, he informs Derek that they’re having a secret Santa at his home, and he gives Derek a folded piece of paper with the person he’s supposed to buy a gift for. Of course, Stiles made sure Derek would be his Secret Santa. If Derek doesn’t show up, Stiles wants to be sure it won’t disappoint his family when they don’t get a gift.

Everything seems to be going well. Derek’s bought him a gift, which he knows because Derek asked for Scott’s help. Stiles is so sure they’re finally going to celebrate Christmas together.

Christmas morning comes, and with it comes Stiles’ present under the tree and a note telling him that Derek’s sorry, but he had to leave.

 

The fourth Christmas

 

It’s the fourth Christmas since they’ve been together, and the first Christmas since they moved in together. For a month now, ever since Stiles brought in the first of the Christmas decorations, Derek has been on edge. He knows that as a Mature Adult, he should talk to Derek about this. However, since Derek is a Maturer Adult, Stiles is not going to do shit, except decorate their house with as much Christmas decorations as he can buy. Even when Derek gets more and more agitated, Stiles doesn’t stop. And, once again, Derek disappears on him shortly before Christmas.

 

The fifth Christmas

 

Even though Stiles is still convinced Derek is the Maturer Adult, he decides it’s time to confront him. They’ve been together for a little over four years now, and Stiles has yet to celebrate Christmas with his boyfriend. Now, Stiles is still a little new to being a Mature Adult, so he might not be the best at adult conversation. Still, even Stiles knows that what he’s about to do isn’t right, but that’s not going to stop him.

“You’re not leaving me alone this Christmas,” Stiles says to Derek one morning.

Derek nearly chokes on his tea. “What?”

“You. Are. Not. Leaving. Me. Alone. This. Christmas,” Stiles repeats slowly.

“Just drop it,” Derek says. He opens his newspaper and hides behind it, hoping Stiles will stop talking about it.

Of course, Stiles wouldn’t be Stiles if he just stopped. “No. I refuse to let you disappear again. Either you stay here, or you take me with you.”

“No,” Derek says.

“Yes,” Stiles replies.

“No,” Derek repeats.

“I’m your boyfriend, Derek! You can’t keep ignoring me for a few days every December. Scott gets to spend his Christmas with Kira! Allison and Lydia spend Christmas together. Erica and Boyd have an amazing Christmas together every year. I’m all alone. How do you think that makes me feel?” Stils says.

Derek stays silent for a while. “I don’t do Christmas,” he says after a moment.

“Yeah, I noticed,” Stiles says, rolling his eyes. “But that’s not good enough for me. I do celebrate Christmas and you can’t keep brushing me off.”

“Watch me,” Derek says. He folds his newspaper, puts his coffee mug in the sink and leaves the loft.

Stiles is too pissed off to care much, or be worried that Derek will do something stupid. He’s still pissed off that evening, when Derek doesn’t come back. It’s the next morning that Stiles begins to worry. Derek doesn’t come home that evening either. Or the next day. On Christmas morning, Stiles is more worried than he’s ever been. There’s no sign of Derek, and Stiles is in no mood to celebrate Christmas. It’s the first year since his mother died that Stiles hasn’t celebrated.

That night, Stiles wakes up when Derek sneaks into their bed.

“My dad loved Christmas. I miss him so much this time of year,” Derek says. “I’m sorry.”

A part of Stiles wants to yell at Derek for disappearing for so long, but a bigger part of him understands. Stiles no longer wants to celebrate Easter because it was his mother’s favorite. “You could have just told me, you know,” Stiles says.

“I’m not exactly the talkative one,” Derek says.

“I know, but… you know I know about loss. I’d have been more sensitive about this,” Stiles says. “And you wouldn’t have made me this worried by just disappearing on me.”

“You’ve been worried?” Derek asks, sounding genuinely surprised.

“What? Of course! My boyfriend just disappeared! Why wouldn’t I be worried?” Stiles asks.

Derek shrugs. “I don’t know. I’m not used to people… caring.”

Stiles slaps Derek’s arm. “Dude, you’ve got to stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’ve got me, you’ve got the pack. We all love you and you’re not alone in this.”

Derek nods, looking a little ashamed. “Can we go to sleep? I’m tired.”

Stiles nods. He’ll talk to Derek about this again later.

 

The sixth Christmas

 

This year Stiles has decided not to celebrate Christmas at all. He doesn’t bring any decorations into the house. Sure, he misses it, but he wants to make Derek comfortable. This time, Derek doesn’t disappear, and it’s the first time Stiles spends Christmas day with Derek, even if all they do is watch Netflix and eat junk food.

 

The seventh Christmas

 

Stiles has given up all hope of ever having a Christmas again. He misses it, but Derek’s much more important. However, when Stiles comes home the day before Christmas, he’s met with an actual Christmas tree in their living room. Stiles is staring at it in shock when Derek comes in, carrying a plate of Christmas cookies.

“I found my dad’s recipes for Christmas,” he says softly. “I wanted to give Christmas another try.”

A grin appears on Stiles’ face. “Yeah?”

Derek nods.

“How are you liking it so far?” he asks.

“It’s better now that you’re here,” Derek answers.

“Everything’s better with me there,” Stiles says.

Derek snorts and rolls his eyes.

“Hey! Name one thing that’s worse with me there! I’ll bet you can’t!”

“Cleaning, painting, cooking, and shopping,” Derek says.

“Ha! I told you to name one thing and you named four. I still win,” Stiles says stubbornly.

“Whatever you need to say to feel better, dear,” Derek says, offering Stiles a cookie.

“You’re lucky I love your cookies,” Stiles says, grabbing several cookies before shoving them in his face.

“I’ve got to finish dinner. Try not to choke,” Derek says.

“Next year, do you think we could decorate the tree together?!” Stiles shouts when Derek’s left the living room.

“Only if you promise not to break anything,” Derek answers.

Stiles can barely believe his luck. He’s got his Christmases back without upsetting Derek again. Life is good.