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"Help, my ex.."

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Stiles runs into the coffee shop, pausing at the door to scope out someone to help him. He sees the burly, glaring figure of what appears to be a serial killer/biker of some kind and watches as the waitress shoves her cleavage in the guy's face and gets snarled at in return.

“Perfect!”

He makes his way over to the guy as quickly as his legs and bruised ribs can carry him. He knows he isn't looking his best and he must smell of terror and anxiety but such is life.

He hears the bell above the door tinkle behind him and glances over his shoulder to see Michael, his ex, entering the shop.

He doesn't think twice, he rushes over to the scariest person he has ever seen in his life, and his dad was a sheriff, and climbs right into his lap. He wraps his arms around the man’s neck and drops a kiss to the side of his mouth and then he starts whispering.

“Please please help me, that's my ex, Michael. He likes to hurt me. He swears it's my fault, that he was never violent before he met me. He's supposed to be on the other side of the country. I was supposed to be safe here. Please!”

The man under him wraps his arms around Stiles pulling him deeper into his chest. He nuzzles the top of Stiles head and murmurs words of comfort and safety.

In that moment Stiles gets lost in the man. His scent is the best thing Stiles has ever smelled. The feel of being wrapped in his arms is like coming home. It's unlike anything he has felt since his mom died. The fear fades, the noise of the coffee shop disappears, there is only Stiles and this man, his home.

A shadow looming above the two men brings him crashing out of the safe space he had found in this man’s lap, but he doesn't move, he doesn't pull away, he just freezes.

“What,” says the man under him. Stiles knows it was the man because his chest rumbled when he spoke.

Then he heard Michael speak, “I'm so sorry about him, he’s gone off his meds again. Come on Stiles, time to leave the man alone and come home!” The last two words had barely concealed rage in them, it was a tone Stiles was very familiar with. He had heard it the last time exactly five weeks ago.

“Stiles isn't going anywhere with you, Michael. Yeah, that’s right, he told me all about you. The belittling, the beatings, blaming him because ‘I was never violent before you..’”

Derek ran a soothing hand down Stiles’ back, coming to rest softly over his sore ribs. He stared up at this Michael guy, giving the guy what his sisters refer to as his best murder face.

“Stiles isn't alone anymore. He is under my protection. What this means for you is if you ever come near him again, I will hurt you. If he gets injured, I will hurt you. If he gets mugged, I will hurt you. If he so much as stubs his toe, I will hurt you.” The last four words rumbling out of his chest with a forceful growl under them. “Do you understand, Michael?”

“Y-yeah, I understand.. S-stiles is yours. I'll s-stay away.. I uhm i’m gonna go.. S-sorry..”

Stiles feels his whole body go limp hearing the fear in Michael’s voice. He has heard a lot of emotions in Michael's voice before but never terror. It surprises him that he isn't feeling fear. I mean, shouldn't he be afraid of someone who could make his own personal monster quake like that? All he feels is relief and safety though.

“Are you okay?” The man’s voice is softer now that Michael is gone. Stiles nods but doesn't pull away from the warmth of the man’s chest. “My name’s Derek, he’s gone, you’re safe now.” Derek’s hand begins to stroke up and down Stiles’ back. His chest is rumbling a bit in a way that soothes Stiles even more.

“Come on, Pretty, let’s get you home.” Derek helps Stiles up and keeps an arm wrapped around the smaller man as he leads him out of the shop. They pause out on the sidewalk and Derek asks Stiles, “Where to?”

Stiles looks up into Derek’s kaleidoscope eyes, he sees so much life in those eyes and he feels his own eyes begin to fill with tears.

“I um I don't really know? I live in the campus housing at Columbia, and I'm afraid to go back there, what if he shows up? I know he said he understood but I'm so scared.. And I don't have anyone, I moved here to get away, start over.. What am I gonna do Der?”

Derek wraps his arms around Stiles and pulls him close. “Then you’ll come home with me, though I should probably warn you that I live with my three sisters and two brothers.” He nuzzles the top of Stiles’ head then starts hearing the younger man down the block.

They walk a couple blocks and turn a corner and Stiles finds himself being ushered into a really nice building. Stiles hears the doorman say, “Afternoon Mr. Hale” and the next thing he knows they are across the lobby and getting into an elevator. Derek inserts a key into the elevator panel right next to the P at the top.

Stiles leans his head against Derek's chest again, wondering at the easy way Derek's arms wrap around him. He nuzzles into Derek's warmth and just lets go, it's the first time in the six years since he found out about werewolves and his whole world was reordered, that he feels safe and he has decided to just accept it. ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth or whatever.’

The elevator doors open when they reach the top floor to a long hallway. There are only two apartment doors, both open for some reason, and at the end of the hall there is a small sitting area. Derek escorts Stiles to the apartment on the left.

“I share this side with my sisters, Laura and Cora. We have lived here for around 10 years now. Then about 5 years ago, when our brothers and sister joined us in New York, we bought the place across the hall so we could stay close.”

They had been cuddled up on the couch for about 20 minutes when the sound of running feet reached them. The sound of a small scuffle came from in front of them, but Stiles was honestly too comfortable to look.

“Batman?” whispered an almost forgotten voice.

Stiles eyes flew open, his body jerking away from Derek, as he looked for the ghost from his past. “Catwoman?”

He threw himself at the grinning girl standing before him, “I thought you were dead! I thought you were all dead!” He pulled Boyd and Isaac into the hug, “What happened to you? How did you end up here? I'm so happy you got out!”

The group hug was broken up when a harsh growl sounded from behind him and arms wrapped around him to pull him back into Derek's firm chest. Stiles looked up just in time to see Derek flash red eyes at the terrible triplets.

Gazing up into red Alpha eyes Stiles murmurs to himself, “This whole day makes so much more sense now.”

Upon hearing the muttered words Erica and Isaac burst into laughter and Boyd even cracked a smile. The three gathered on the opposite sofa from where Derek had pulled Stiles, Erica whipping out her phone to let Laura and Cora know that not only was Derek home but that he had brought home a boy.

They spent the next couple of hours catching up on what had happened in all their lives over the last few years. Stiles found out that Erica, Boyd, and Isaac had been found by Laura shortly after their arrival in New York and that she had taken them in after hearing their story. They were after all Hale wolves, even if it was Peter who had bitten them all. They all finished school and went to college. Isaac was working as a social worker for kids like himself, Erica worked as a nurse in a children's ward, and Boyd had recently opened a bakery.

In exchange for their stories, Stiles told them about life in BH after they left. The Alpha Pack, the Darach, the bounty hunters, Kate and Gerard, the nogitsune, Theo, the falling out with Scott, and ultimately the death of his father. How he left BH for college and met Michael, the years of abuse and all of the planning it took to get into graduate school on the other side of the country to get away from him, and everything leading up to meeting Derek and how he ended up there with them.

There was laughter, tears, hugs and comfort, and food, so much food before the night was over. Around 3am everyone started drifting off to their beds. Derek tugged Stiles up off the couch and started leading him deeper into the apartment.

“Come on, Pretty, you’re with me, time for bed.”

Stiles sleepy brain asked, “Who else would I be with?”

Derek’s rumbling laughter and his warm breath on the back of Stiles’ neck felt amazing, but nothing had ever felt as good as curling up in Derek's arms, in Derek's bed, and sleeping peacefully and safely the whole night through.