Derek thought his life couldn’t get any better. But it's amazing how fast a good day can go all to hell. His day started amazing. He was finally going to see his sister in what felt like the first time in forever. It was her coronation day and she very well couldn't hide away in her room for that.
The gates were opened and there were people in the castle and he even met someone.
Princess Kate was beautiful and interesting and she listened when Derek stuttered and struggled with his words and being a little awkward. The coronation itself went well except Laura seemed a little nervous. But by the time the dance started she seemed okay. She even shoved him to the dance floor with a laugh at one point.
Of course it wasn't perfect. He had to go and open his big mouth and start hinting that he wanted to see her more. The weird thing was she agreed at first before she pulled away and closed off. He just- he misses her.
They used to be best friends. He has this really vivid memory of making a snowman together when they were kids. He doesn't remember its name though. Lloyd? Baron? Whatever it had a name Derek remembers that much and he and Laura used to be best friends.
Then, he just hinted that he wants to see her more and she almost ran away from him. He saved her the trouble and walked away feeling hurt. He stumbled as he made his way across the dance floor and was saved the embarrassment of falling when Kate catches him. They danced for a bit before they went outside together to the balcony to talk.
They talked and talked and Derek just fell for her.
Her smile and her laugh and the way she listened and promised never to shut him out. It's true love! It has to be because just like that he knew she was the girl he is supposed to marry. That's probably where the trouble really started because Laura was less than thrilled he wanted to marry some he just met.
He tried to catch a hold of her as she walked away again and snagged one of her ever present gloves off her hand. He yelled after her asking, begging her to tell him why she shut him out, why she shut the world out.
She'd turned away, scolding, "Enough, Derek!"
From her bare hand a barrier of ice sprung forth separating her from the rest of the ballroom.
That was only the beginning.
Laura fled the kingdom and Derek followed on his horse. Right up until his horse threw him, he fell into an icy creek, found refuge in a trading post and met Stiles.
Stiles the ice merchant and his reindeer friend Scott. Stiles who is strong and tall like Derek but with delicate features and golden brown eyes. Stiles is also now the person helping Derek up into the mountains to find his sister. He can't imagine the night could get any worse than it has been already.
Wolves. Of course there's wolves. The one ride through the forest Stiles has a passenger in his sled and the wolves come out to play. And his passenger, beautiful naïve Prince Derek. The same prince who was apparently foolish enough to believe himself in love after knowing the princess for a single day. He almost gets lit on fire as a result of Derek trying to help and then almost falls of a cliff when Scott and the sled jump across a ravine. Scott and Derek land fine but Stiles still has that split second of feeling himself fall and panic before he's being tugged up to safety and Derek is stronger than he looks.
“Whoa,” Derek breathes looking over the edge of the cliff just as Stiles’ sled bursts into flame.
Stiles whimpers, “I just paid that off.”
“I’ll replace your sled,” Derek says calmly if not a little sadly. “And everything in it. And I’ll understand if you don’t want to help me anymore.”
Stiles lets Derek walk away as he sulks until Scott nudges his arm giving him a disapproving look.
“No I’m not going to help him anymore! I already was against helping people and this just confirmed that it’s a huge inconvenience for the person doing the helping!”
Scott continues to look and Stiles rolls his eyes making his ‘Scott voice.’
“But he’ll die on his own!”
“I don’t care,” he says as himself but Scott just stares at him until he throws his hands up.
“Ugh, fine. We’ll help him.”
It's a long walk up the mountain without the sled but Derek's pretty good company. They talk as they walk and Stiles finds he understands the prince more and more. He would have to take back his first impression of naivety because he thinks Derek simply latched on to the first person to show him affection.
The prince and newly crowned queen have been locked up for years in the castle. Stiles, with his only friend being his reindeer, knows a little something about loneliness and he can just bet Derek's been living with it in his heart for some time now.
As the sun rises they make their way through a willow tree where Scott gets tangled in the frozen branches and they gain a fourth member to their traveling party. Given the fact that they're currently trudging through snow as the result of a magical temper tantrum on the part of the queen, Stiles should probably be less surprised by a talking snowman calling himself Boyd.
But when he tells Derek he knows how to find Laura, Stiles is more than happy to follow his lead.
Derek totally takes back his opinion on his night being bad. Adventures are awesome. He met Stiles and ran from wolves and found Boyd (the snowman's name was Boyd and he's alive somehow?) and now they're walking up a giant ice staircase towards a giant ice castle that has Laura written all over it. They stop at the door and before he knocks he turns to Stiles.
"Can you give me a minute? I think I should talk to her alone first."
Stiles looks at him in dismay.
"Oh, come on. It's a castle made of ice! Ice is my life!"
Derek just fixes him with a look and Stiles slumps.
"Fine. I'll sit here with Boyd and give you a minute."
Derek smiles and turns to knock on the door and it actually opens.
"That's a first," he mutters as he steps through and he can hear Stiles counting out his minute with Boyd on the front step. He smiles a little before his jaw drops in awe as he looks around. The castle is beautiful. He calls out for Laura and after a moment she appears at the top of the stairs.
He tries to assure her that he still loves her and will help her if she'll just come home. Derek's hurt when she refuses to even think about coming back and walks away from him. With Boyd at his side he follows his sister and tries to get her to understand. She froze the kingdom, she needs to come back and thaw it. But despite his encouragement she panics and Derek watched as snow starts swirling around her as her mind no doubt races.
He tries easing towards her and gets struck in the chest for his trouble. It's like- it hurts, more than the crushing loneliness he’s faced since their parents died. His heart just hurts even worse now. He falls to his knees his chest it hurts so badly. Laura turns back around just as Stiles rushes in calling out his name.
He can't believe his sister right now. How is he supposed to help her if she won't let him in? He walks away needing Stiles’ help to keep him upright. They walk away from the castle and it feels like he swallowed a pitcher full of ice water. He's so cold it's hard to think. The more they walk the worse it gets. They make it down the mountain away from Laura's ice haven before he nearly faints when a fresh wave of cold hits him. He staggers but doesn't fall. He hears Stiles clear his throat.
"Uh, Derek? Your hair is turning white."
Derek looks up at him in confusion and drags his fingers through it, hoping it’s just some snow that can be dislodged. But the way Stiles shakes his head leads Derek to believe it isn’t.
“Does it look bad?”
There’s a pause.
“No,” is the reply when it comes and Boyd lifts his head from his shoulders to look between them.
“No! I didn’t,” Stiles cries and a blush is forming on his cheeks. “It looks fine okay? But I might have some friends who can help you.”
Derek eyes him skeptically as they start walking again, Scott lowering his head to the snow to pick up Stiles’ hat.
“You have friends?”
“Yes,” Stiles hisses and Derek smirks, because if he’s learned anything about Stiles so far it’s that he’s just as lonely in life as Derek is.
But it turns out Stiles has friends. Friends who are trolls and have magic and there may have been a song involved where they started Stiles’ and Derek’s wedding. However the wedding was interrupted by Derek almost fainting again from another wave of cold rushing over him and then learning only true love’s kiss can heal a frozen heart.
Stiles panics a little bit as Derek becomes more visibly overcome by the magic his sister hit him with. He shivers in Stiles’ arms as they race towards the castle, towards the princess Derek knows is his true love. When they arrive Stiles hands him over to a few worried castle servants and Derek gets bustled away before he can even say thank you to him.
It feels like moments later he’s lying on a couch with a fire roaring next to him in the fireplace and the servants are fetching Kate who has apparently been busy taking care of the country in Derek and Laura’s absence. He can’t say he minds. They are true loves after all right?
He tells her everything, how Laura is up in her castle afraid and confused and how she hurt him. He tells her all he needs is a kiss from his true love and his frozen heart will be healed. She nods, smile understanding and Derek closes his eyes as she leans down to kiss him. He feels her finger on his chin, it burns where she touches him from the chill already set in on his skin.
“Oh, Derek,” she purrs. “If only there was someone out there who loved you.”
“What?” he asks, eyes wide and shocked as she strolls over and opens the window letting in a blast of frigid air. “You said, you said you did!” he exclaims through his chattering teeth.
She sighs and douses the fire.
“There’s too many family members I’d have to kill to get the throne of my own country. So I’ve known for a while now that I’d have to marry into the family.”
She continues to prowl around him extinguishing the candles and any source of heat in the room.
“I’d have preferred to marry Laura, as she’s the heir to the throne but with her being locked away and then not talking to anyone today I knew it had to be you. You were so desperate for love you were willing to marry the first girl that talked to you!”
Derek sits horrified as she strides to the door.
“All that’s left is to let this curse kill you and then I’ll dispatch your sister and the throne will be mine.”
He cries out again and tries to stand to go after her but collapses on the floor, limbs stiff with the cold. Kate walks back over and lifts his chin in her hand making him look up at her cruel grin.
“I’m going to kill your sister and be a better queen than she ever could have hoped to be.
“You’re no match for Laura,” he spits. “You won’t get away with this!”
She laughs as she walks quickly back to the doorway.
“I already have,” she says with a grin so evil Derek wonders how he saw anything good in her the day before.
With that she locks the door and Derek crawls over to it but the cold has him unconscious moments later.
When he wakes up, Boyd is there starting a fire in the fireplace.
But he’s already struck the match, lighting the wood into a warm blaze.
“Whoa, this is heat.” He reaches out towards it and his hand catches aflame. “Oh, but don’t touch it apparently.”
He comes over and helps Derek over to the fire after he extinguishes his hand.
“Where’s Kate? What happened to your kiss?”
“I was wrong about her,” Derek admits bitterly.
“Well, I’m not leaving here until we find another act of true love,” he says confidently, sitting on the other side of Derek away from the fire. “You wouldn’t happen to have any ideas?”
“I don’t know anything about love.”
“That’s okay! I might! It’s like, putting others before your own needs. Like, how Stiles brought you back to Kate and left you forever.”
“Wait, Stiles loves me?” Derek asks, confused.
Boyd looks at him disapprovingly.
“Wow, you really don’t know anything about love, do you?”
Stiles holds on for the ride as Scott runs them back towards the castle. He never should have left, he doesn’t know what the swirl of snow in the fjord means but it can’t be good. Whatever magic Laura is dealing with has the ice breaking up as they run across it and Stiles has to jump from Scott’s back and run the rest of the way. He can see Derek, basically frozen he thinks with how stiffly he’s moving. And for a moment it looks like Derek will run to him.
He watches Derek turn and Stiles looks over to see a woman that has to be Kate standing over Laura with a sword about to strike her. With what looks like his last burst of life, Derek jumps between them, shattering Kate’s sword and the force of the magic knocking her back onto the ice. But, but Derek is frozen solid. Skin blue and translucent and Stiles’ heart falls. He only just realized he might love the guy and now he’s frozen.
He watches as Laura stands and realizes her brother was still alive until a moment ago. And now he’s frozen because of her, to save her. Scott comes up and stands next to Stiles, nibbling at the hem of his coat in support. He has to avert his eyes, as they’re stinging with tears of his own, when Laura starts to cry for her brother.
But then Scott nudges him more harshly and Stiles looks up to see the color returning to Derek. Starting with his heart and spreading across his body as he’s thawing. It’s only a moment later that Laura realizes Derek is still alive.
She wraps him in a tight hug for a moment before pulling back to ask, “You’d sacrifice yourself for me?”
Derek just smiles sweetly, “Of course I would. I love you.”
It’s finally warm and Derek hasn’t sent him and Scott away and Stiles is really very very happy with his life currently. They’re opening the castle doors again later today but Derek asked Stiles to meet him here in this particular square in the village. Of course, when Derek showed up and asked to blindfold Stiles in order to show him the surprise, Stiles realized just how gone he is over the prince when he readily agrees and is guided through the streets.
But when Derek takes it off he stops breathing for just a second.
Now, Derek is great. He’s beautiful and kind and really very smart.
But this sled is gorgeous.
Derek shows him all the features of the sled but Stiles is still silent in his shock. After a moment Derek hesitantly asks him, “Do you like it?”
Stiles feels his face break out into a grin and he breaks out of his stupor to reach forward and grab Derek by the waist.
“Like it? I love it!” he exclaims as he spins Derek around happily.
“I could kiss you!” he admits setting Derek back on his feet only to realize what he just said.
“I could. I mean. I’d like to. I –may I? We me? I mean, my we? Wait what?” he babbles nervously until Derek leans over and kisses him on the cheek.
Stiles tugs Derek back in and kisses him properly. He still has Scott, he has a new sled, and now he has his love in his arms.
Stiles’ life couldn’t get any better.