Stiles' always dreams.
Everyone does. You don't always remember the dream, but it happens. You fall asleep and slip elsewhere. Elsewhere depends on who you are. You could simply fall deeply into your subconscious and allow the monsters and heroes their time to shine, or you have that spark in you that takes you somewhere else.
Sometimes, somewhere else is someone else's subconscious.
Stiles goes to sleep and dreams.
It’s night and the Hale house is standing, beautiful and glorious. It’s the type of house Stiles could imagine a family of eleven people comfortably living in before eight of them died. He doesn’t know how Derek can stand being anywhere near his old house, especially if it used to look like this, although Stiles can’t be sure. He’s never seen the house in all its beauty before.
He hears a whine to his left and sees Derek. Of course. How could he dream about the Hale house and not Derek Hale? That wouldn’t make sense. At all.
“Wait for it,” Stiles hears and he’s never heard that voice before. “The best part is coming.”
On Derek’s left side is a woman that from pictures Stiles knows to be Kate Argent, but Stiles has never actually met her before. She’s pretty in his dream. Younger than she had been before she died. Derek snarls at her and steps forward, towards the house, and the house erupts into flames.
Stiles can hear screams and shouts. Can recognize some of them. Scott. Erica. Isaac. All mixed along with the screams his subconscious is substituting for the Hale family.
“I love this part. Gets me wet every time.” Kate says and she laughing as she says it.
Derek is whining, sounding heartbroken. Stiles can’t stand it. Why would he dream about this? He’s only ever known Derek to growl, snarl and glare. Whining and being sad instead of angry is not okay with Stiles.
“Shut up!” He tells the woman. “Derek don’t listen to her.” He grabs Derek’s arm, to keep him from doing something stupid like jump into the fire. “This isn’t real. I promise. This isn’t real.”
Derek grabs onto him, digging his fingers in hard, like he needs to be anchored into the spot and Stiles puts his hands over Derek's ears. It's pointless because Stiles' hands aren't earmuffs, but it's the principle damn it. "Hey, don't listen. Look at me. Eyes on me."
Stiles spends the dream begging Derek not to listen to Kate, to look away from the fire, but like reality, Derek only partially listens and doesn’t look away from the house once, not until it’s the skeleton Stiles remembers it as.
His dream is unpleasant. He wakes up gasping for breath, convinced he’s going to choke on the tears spilling out of him and he swears he can smell smoke. That he can taste it on his tongue and his stomach feels sour. It takes him an hour to calm his heart and still his mind, but the dream finds him again when he thinks it’s safe to sleep. A vicious repeat. He wakes up again, choking on the knowledge people he loves so fucking much are being burned alive and he can't do a damn thing but watch, smell, hear.
The dream stalks him nightly and he can't take it anymore. Maybe he's spent too much time at the skeleton of the Hale house.
Derek is constantly by his side, angry and desperate to reach the people inside like he already knows how the story ends but still has to try, Stiles holding him back, because he refuses to lose absolutely everyone. Kate is always taunting Derek on his other side, poisonous, and Stiles begging Derek to look away. It's probably representing some deep fear Stiles has that what happened to the Hales will happen again, to the people Stiles cares about. To Scott.
“You have the spark, Stiles.” Deaton explains one night as the man tries to teach him more about the mountain ash and other skills Deaton has picked up in the past few years. “Unfortunately, your spark isn’t particularly strong. You may never be able to keep the supernatural from harming you like I can, but you can use mountain ash to keep things out, or in. You can learn the basics.”
Stiles swallowed his disappointment and managed a grin. “Anything you can teach me, Doc, will be awesome. I mean, mountain ash ain’t no little thang. Especially if it means werewolves can’t eat my face.”
He dedicates more time a week to Deaton and his lessons on everything that goes boo in the night and day than he does to school. Fortunately, his brain is able to work in magical amazing ways and his grades don’t tank. Not like how Scott’s do.
He researches about dreams. Dreams can be changed. The trick is to let the change occur naturally enough, he doesn't force himself awake. Kind of like when he used to dream of taking a math test he has only thirty seconds left on and he gets stuck on the fact 3 x 6 is 18, not 33 because that makes no sense and the lack of it forces him awake.
Armed with his knowledge and the internet, he is ready when the dream begins again. The house is being lit, Kate is taunting the wolf, Derek is snarling and his eyes are red, he can hear crying, begging and screams and he imagines a field on fire. A field alive with poppies replaces the burning house and when the wind blows, the field moves in a wave of flame. Derek is standing by his side, touching the tops of flowers like they'll burst into flames.
He relaxes and enjoys the flowers.
“Did you know poppies represent sleep, peace, death, love and even resurrection? The sleep thing comes from Wizard of Oz but the rest has like basis in Greek mythology and stuff. Like poppies have morphine in them and have been used as a narcotic and a painkiller for thousands of years. So that covers peace. Hey, do you think poppy extract would work on werewolves? Death, well, human beings have a problem with seeing a red flower and not thinking blood but usually they’re used as a funeral flower. But the Persians believed red poppies were the flower of love instead of roses, which is kind of cool, but again, red. Red has a wide range of color symbolism, let me tell you. Red can mean war, love, violence, blood, passion. Weird, huh? But then again Helen of Troy and Paris did fall in love and it lead to war, so maybe people are right in associating love and violence together. They’re thought of as resurrection is classical mythology and well, Christianity uses red as a common symbol so.” Stiles shrugs and Derek is still staring wide eyed at him and the field. Stiles grins back. “But online, I saw a picture of a field and it reminded me of fire. And I dunno about you, but death by flowers is much more preferable to actual like pain.”
And when he wakes up, he thinks it's funny that even in his dreams he wants to save Derek.
The dream tries coming again, but he shuts it down, down, down until one night, he skips the house on fire and goes straight to the field. Derek already sitting amongst the poppies, waiting for him with a bemused expression. Like he can't believe it and Stiles preens that at least he's saved dream-Derek from fire.
Another nightmare steps in, seizing its chance while his defenses are down because he's confident his subconscious isn't hiding another buried fear.
He changes that terror too, and the one after that and the one after that. It takes him weeks to properly, permanently shift the dreams from something that makes him choke on tears, guilt and anger to things that give him restful sleep. They're just dreams after all. He's the dreamer. He controls the dream. As simple as that.
He's gotten used to the constant dreams of red fields, wind chimes dancing in the breeze, snow floating from the moon, trees speaking to him and waging war against cement. To Derek being in all of them -- Stiles either sees him as authority figure or as the representation of all the supernatural in his life, his research shows -- that his new dreams surprise him.
His subconscious sure is a busy fucker. These new dreams are the kind that spreads a blush from his face to his chest and probably further if his body had the blood to spare.
The setting doesn't matter too much and it varies a lot: his room, the train station, the Hale house, the woods, the locker room, the Camaro, against his jeep, against Scott's house, in the police station next to the jail cells, everywhere imaginable.
The thing about sex dreams though, is it takes two to have sex. His partner is always Derek and the dream dictionaries online say he's either getting used to teamwork with Derek, he's finally accepted the supernatural in his life and into his body or he adores and maybe wants to take Derek's orders and please him. Like super eager to make Derek happy and who wouldn't want to see the guy a tiny bit happier? Stiles is sure Isaac, Erica and Boyd would jump at the chance to see the guy smile because he's happy and not inflicting pain or edging into The Joker insanity.
Stiles, on the other hand, is thinking his subconscious finally got bored with internet porn, apparently that can happen but he thought he had like thirty years before it happened to him, and has taken the challenge of creating absolutely filthy fantasies.
He dreams about having sex with Derek. He does it many varied positions, different ways -- his ass, his mouth, Derek's ass and mouth -- and different moods. Stiles learns the difference between fucking and making love in these dreams. Like on a fundamental level. Stiles isn’t a romantic. Not how most people would assume based on his epic crush on Lydia, but he dreams Derek is slow and sweet and pressing kisses against his throat. How Derek’s body covers his and it’s so slow because sex isn’t the point, it’s the reaction to all these things bubbling in his chest that demand some sort of outlet or else it hurts.
Then there’s the dreams where Derek is fast and hungry and all smirks. A used and use situation where Stiles is just as hungry and desperate because this is a dream. No one needs to know about it. No one has to know about how he yearns to be touched somehow, anyhow and be wanted for at least one night. He doesn’t know how to handle the dreams where Derek is angry and it's hot and vicious, nearly always a result of when he does something he know real-Derek didn’t want him to do that night but tough shit. Well. Not healthily. Stiles wants to be good. To behave and make someone happy. He thinks maybe he’s trying a little hard though to make it up to dream-Derek though when he doesn’t just let him break Stiles apart but agrees to it.
So either Stiles has previously unknown burning desire to fuck and be fucked by Derek or the dream dictionary is right and he wants to be Derek's bitch. He isn't sure which he's more comfortable with, but he doesn't change the dreams like he did with the nightmares even if these ones make Stiles' stomach twist and heart thud hard when he sees Derek. In reality. And it’s his strange existence that he has to specify now. This is so like him.
Stiles can handle sex dreams. He’s only awkward with Derek a little bit after, wondering if that’s how he really looks underneath all his clothes, if he’d really act like that with Stiles, but most of the time he doesn’t really see Derek after such a dream. It's the ones that begin to pepper between them that make him embarrassed and like if anyone ever knew he'd be called three kinds of adorable and Stiles never even played house despite whatever Scott swears.
But the dreams begin to crop up and they're harmless so he figures why not and guiltily enjoys them.
Derek tracing the bones in his hands, Stiles making cupcakes while Derek watches, curled together on a couch, Stiles studying while Derek rests his head on his knee or stomach, sitting in a laundry mat, helping Derek wash the Camaro, wandering around the woods, and they're talking in all of them – communication is occurring.
They're weird dreams.
Completely domestic and happy and it's Derek propaganda his brain is spouting is what it is.
He can never remember the conversations they have, but Stiles begins to cotton on to something being fucking weird when Scott and he decide to bring peace offering sandwiches to Derek and his pack so they can talk about the werewolves stalking them and what they're going to do about it, and he gets Derek a sandwich loaded with things like red vinegar and Swiss cheese and bean sprouts. What the fuck.
Derek opens it and a bemused look crosses his face and Stiles doesn't know how he knew. "They feed you often when you were on the run?" Isaac asks with a grin.
"How sweet that they remembered your order." Peter says.
"What are you guys talking about? We never fed Derek." Scott gives them a look generally only given to recent mental hospital escapees. He shares a look with Stiles, 'these guys, right?' and he smiles back weakly.
It isn't just the once.
Stiles knows things about Derek. Things he didn't know until he stumbles upon it like that Derek likes Chuck Palahniuk when he sees Fight Club pop up in his Amazon recommended books. Or that Derek likes Dead Man's Bones until they play on Jackson's iPod in the locker room. It's bizarre things he's never asked about that Stiles suddenly knows.
And it doesn't work just one way.
Stiles doesn't think he ever told Derek he likes sour straws but that could be coincidence, but Derek also gets his half of the pizza loaded with veggies, buys him Mountain Dew, brings him his coffee exactly how he likes on late night stake outs and even bribes him with chocolate covered coffee beans when he comes crawling through his window in the middle of the night.
It's strange and freaky but maybe it's just coincidence even if twice was coincidence, three is a pattern and twenty times is stalking, but on who’s end is lost to him.
Until the lamia.
She was a woman looking creature, covered in dark green scales that had been hibernating in the caves for decades. She’d awoken, and she’d woken up starving. She’d been stealing children from families camping and hiking and just exploring the woods. When the pack got to her, she’d been so strong. Stronger than anyone they’ve ever faced.
Stiles supposed starvation gave hungry monsters the edge.
She put Derek into a coma, but Deaton assured them he’d be fine in a few days. “It’s a healing coma. The body shuts down as much as it can to concentrate on healing the injuries. He’ll be fine.”
They’d won and there was going to be victory party, but not for like another week, because everyone was fucking tired. Stiles had a date with his bed. He showered, brushed his teeth, dressed in soft pants and shirt because he was covered in bruises and deserved it and stumbled into bed and was asleep in minutes.
And sleeps and dreams.
Dreams where he can’t help but tease Derek for falling into a healing coma, kiss him because thank god he was alive, being alive and happy in a place full of sunshine, peace and happiness where nothing hurts.
He wakes up in a hospital bed, an IV in his arm, his mouth feeling dry and his dad sleeping in a chair next to his bed, Scott sitting on the end of his bed, staring at him frightened and relieved.
“What happened?” He didn’t think the lamia hurt him. Just made him run a lot. And threw him around a little. But not hard enough to warrant a hospital stay.
“You, you passed out.” Scott whispers, face pale. “Your dad couldn’t wake you up and you’ve been asleep for a week. Deaton—Deaton wants you to call him when you can. He said it was important. Super important.”
Deaton comes to visit him after he calls and he’s solemn. “You’re stronger than I thought you were Mr. Stilinski. Your spark,” He shakes his head. “You haven’t been able to do anything but parlor tricks with it because you’ve been using it to dream walk. You’ve been using it nightly for months. If anyone else had done what you did, they would have died from exhaustion.”
Stiles—Stiles doesn’t like what he’s hearing. What’s being implied. “What happened?”
“You’ve been dreaming with Derek.” Deaton says. “Whenever you’ve both been asleep at the same time, you’ve gone into his dreams. This time he was in a coma and you got stuck in his dreams. He just woke up, today.”
It’s a good thing; he hasn’t had a chance to get solids into him because he’s leaning over the bed’s rails, gagging so hard his eyes water. He feels creepy and gross and he invaded Derek's privacy so bad it isn’t even something he could laugh off. The things he did, thinking it was all only a dream.
“Calm yourself, Mr. Stilinski before you hurt yourself.” Deaton pats his back, if a bit awkwardly.
“I’m fine.” Stiles says automatically. He clears his throat and ignores Deaton’s face that is loudly calling him a liar. “Can you teach me to control it?”
“Of course.” Deaton agrees. “You need all your strength to recover this time. I’ll teach you how to ground yourself, keep you within your own body at night.”
Deaton’s theory is the last time Stiles used magic; Derek had been in his immediate vicinity and attached to him. “Magic is more sentient than many give it credit for, and you’ve been ignoring yours for years. It wanted to be used.” And they manage a simple solution to keep Stiles from dream walking again. An anchor or totem for Stiles much like how an anchor works for werewolves. To keep him from –
He didn’t really like thinking about what he did. It makes him sick. Like he tricked Derek into revealing things he otherwise never would have. That he betrayed a fledgling trust he didn’t even know he cared so much about.
He’s released two days later, his doctors unable to explain what happened exactly and since his coma didn’t turn Stiles stupid, they wrote it off as a onetime thing and released him into his father’s overprotective custody.
His dad wakes up every two hours that night, to make sure he hasn’t fallen back into his coma and Stiles is so fine with everything he doesn’t complain. Just blinks awake and says hi, reassures his dad he’s okay. His dreams, that he can remember, aren’t as comforting, interesting, fun as they used to be. But then again, those had been Derek’s dreams that Stiles had been changing. His natural dreams are filled with angry alpha werewolves tearing his throat out, his dad finding out and giving him looks full of disappoint and shame, Scott abandoning him. He feels like he deserves the dreams and doesn’t change them like he used to for Derek.
His avoidance of Derek’s pack is legitimate and not just because he’s a coward. He has a ton of makeup work to get started on and two tests to take. Those are his reasons and he’s sticking to them, even when Isaac stumbles all over his words trying to invite Stiles to the pack’s victory party.
He gives up on sleep the second day after he’s been released from the hospital. He’s too, too something. Pining, maybe. He misses Derek’s presence, the flavor Derek’s dreams took even with Stiles manipulating them. His dreams now are lackluster and only remind him of the things he can’t have. The things he’s lost.
Scott starts to spend the night after Stiles shows up to school still awake from the day before. They curl together on the bed, Scott wearing his worry even when he sleeps. Stiles watches his friend and tries taking comfort from Scott’s breath and warmth. Mostly, Scott just reminds Stiles of the things he’s trying to forget.
“You can’t not sleep Stiles.” Scott says in the morning, waking to Stiles’ wide, glazed eyes. “You’ll go crazy.”
“I’ll sleep.” Stiles is quick to promise. “I just. I want to be tired. I don’t want my magic to do it again.”
It is all anyone besides Stiles, Deaton and Derek know about the situation. At least Stiles is assuming Derek knows. Stiles didn’t tell him but he’s sure Deaton would have. Because that would be the right thing to do.
It all comes to ahead a week later, Saturday night. Of course it’s all Derek’s fault because Stiles hasn’t been hiding in his room all week but hasn’t left it either. He has a lot of make-up work, okay? And he doesn’t really know what to say. What to do. He figured distance was the best solution until he could get his useless brain to work.
And of course, Derek comes through his window because that is Derek’s sole purpose in Stiles’ life. To ruin all his plans.
“Derek!” Stiles says and his voice is too high and he cringes. God damn it. Motherfucker. Sonofabitch. “What you doing here?”
Derek does this thing sometimes, when with someone he obviously thinks of as prey, where he slowly circles the person, staring at them with the edge of amusement in eyes, something darker. Stiles had almost forgotten what it looked like.
Derek hadn’t done it to him in months, the most recent to get the predatory walk being a girl only a few years older than Stiles that had used magic to make Isaac fall in love with her. And it wasn’t the “awe, aren’t they sickeningly cute?” kind of love, it had been the obsessive, primal love that caused people to kill. Derek had been pissed when he found the reason behind Isaac’s hysterical, “I just want to be with her,” and murder attempts.
The only reason the witch was even still alive was because Allison had been there, firing a warning shot into the meat of Derek shoulder that he wrenched out with nary a grunt, just a vicious smile at the witch before he hit her so hard on the head she hit the ground unconscious.
“Derek?” He squeaks, afraid. Terrified. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again.”
Derek is still moving slowly through his room, touching Stiles’ things with mild interest and it makes something itch in Stiles. Like he’s being played with. “Derek?” Stiles can hear his heart in his ears, his body tight with the desire to flee. Derek glances at him through half lowered eyes, eyes at least his green-blue-gray mix that Stiles can never pinpoint unless they’re red. Derek’s eyes aren’t red now, so that has to count for something, but that curl of amusement, false and dark, is worse than alpha red eyes.
“I’m sorry. I really am. You have to believe me. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t even know it was possible. But Deaton says it only happened because the last time I used magic it was around you and I’ve learned how to control it, okay? It’ll never happen again. I promise.” Stiles says desperately.
Derek doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t make a sound. Derek is close enough now, Stiles can feel his body heat warming his skin and Stiles goes easy when Derek grabs him firmly by the neck, steering him towards the bed and pushing him on it. Stiles scrambles as closely to the wall as he can, out of his depth and afraid for his life but Derek just turns his back on Stiles and takes off his leather jacket, throwing it on Stiles’ clean clothes hamper before sitting on the bed to remove his boots, the bed pulling Stiles closer to Derek.
“What are you doing?” Stiles hesitates to ask, but there’s a reason he’s known for his mouth and his curiosity before the whole sheriff’s kid bit.
Derek doesn’t acknowledge him, just settles his boots by the side of the bed before making himself comfortable on the twin mattress like he belongs there. Like he’s going to sleep. The bastard even puts an arm over his eyes and Stiles can only watch with his mouth open, a little, hugging the cold wall. He sort of wants under his comforter since Derek has him trapped between him and the wall and it’s cold.
This is not the behavior Stiles was expecting from a werewolf he’s been dream invading. To be honest, Stiles expected more blood, bruises and begging. He was not expecting creepy Derek to go to sleep next to him. “Derek?” He says uncertainly.
“You haven’t been sleeping.” Derek says finally, and he sounds aggrieved. Like Stiles pains Derek by doing horrible things to himself.
“I’ve been sleeping.” Stiles denies.
“Not at night.” Derek says like every word like he’ll never get it back, that it costs him.
“I had to make sure I wasn’t” Stiles waves hand towards Derek, not wanting to bring up what he did in case he reminded Derek to kill him. “I needed to be sure. I’ve been sleeping during the day. Naps. Just in case.”
“Go to sleep.” Derek orders.
Stiles stares, his mouth open in disbelief. “Did Deaton not explain how this dream magic stuff works? If we sleep at the same time, we dream the same dreams. I dream your dreams. And I know I said I’ve got it under control, but having you right next to me, sleeping, might be a little bit much for my self control.”
“Yes,” Derek grumbles. “And the only person who had an issue with that was you.”
“Wait, what? Are you telling me you liked it? That it was okay?” Stiles asks, eyes wide. “Because I was invading your dreams, your privacy.”
Derek sighs, pained. “You didn’t know you were doing it.” Like that makes sense, like that makes any of it better. It’s still Stiles’ fault. His magic’s.
“Still! I know things about you” Did things to you “That you wouldn’t have told anyone else! I forced share and tell time on you! I know things! Your favorite color is gray! Which isn’t really a color but really a tint, but you kept insisting it didn’t matter, but it does, and why are you looking at me like that?”
Derek does this thing with his body that Stiles doesn’t fully comprehend, but ends with Derek settled over him, encompassing him, their faces so close their noses could touch and Stiles has to concentrate on not going cross eye. “Your favorite color is red. You like green olives more than the black ones. You have a sick need to put fruit in every dessert you make. You like Snuggie fabric softener more than Bounce but less than Downy. Your skin gets easily irritated by most chemicals so you have to wear gloves if you want to do things like wash a car.” Derek looks mildly amused before becoming serious again. “You like sunflowers. You like sour candy. You – “
“I get it! It worked both ways!” He tries pushing Derek off, but the guy is unmovable. He’s startled into submission when he presses his hands against skin he’d dreamt about what feels like hundreds of times. He didn’t think he’d know, remember how Derek felt. How his body felt.
Derek voice drops, “I know you like when I do this,” he rubs his cheek against Stiles’ and he shivers, his body heating, because he knows what that means, except he doesn’t and he’s so very confused but he wants. “And when I do this.” And then he breaks and wrings Stiles apart, his mouth soft and warm, tearing Stiles apart and ruining him for life.
It’s not a prelude to fucking, isn’t strong and hungry and burning. It’s the beginning of a love song, all gentle trills and aching stars. Love making. It makes a whine rise in his throat, tears burn at the corners of his eyes.
“You’re the only one that had a problem with this, Stiles.” Derek whispers. “Now go to sleep.”
Derek rearranges them, the twin bed giving them limited choices, but Stiles finds his head over Derek’s heart, the steady heartbeat making his eyes heavy, breath deep, and Derek’s thumb swipes the skin of his neck in easy strokes. He closes his eyes.