Stiles' was born with his soulmark.
It wasn't unusual or unheard of, but neither Claudia's or John's family had any history of anyone being born with it for a long time, so it'd been a pleasant surprise - marks usually came in around a year or two, up to five for some people. It'd been hard to hide it, what with it being smack in between his collar bones and Stiles' constant itching around that particular area, so they'd given up at the end, just letting him deal with it however he wanted.
Which, granted, might not have been their greatest idea, as it led to closets filled with short necked T-shirts and flannel, and even the occasional turtle neck over the years. But hey, happy son equaled happy parents for them.
A few weeks after Claudia's death however, John forced Stiles to wear shirts that were looser at the neck, because the ones that weren't - while doing a great job at covering his mark - were terrible for the panic attacks.This, of course, caused his mark to stay in the open. In plain sight. Under everyone's eyes.
Causing so many goddamn whispers.
Stiles at 10 with a dead mother didn't care. Stiles at 20, orphaned and working on his medical degree could not care less.
"I still can't believe you didn't tell me she worked there. How was I supposed to know?" Scott glares at Stiles form on his bed. "And to top it off, you told her about Allison. Amazing. The amount of productivity from you today was amazing."
Stiles sits up and gives him a bemused stare.
"What would you rather have had me tell her? She's your cousin? Sister? Do you know how Kira would feel if she found out the truth, and don't play me, she definitely would've found out, I don't know what you take her for, seriously. Why were you even with Allison?"
"We were reconciling." Scott sighs and lays down next to him. "She's dating Isaac now, of all people."
"Another person I don't know about."
"He's a friend."
Scott drags a hand through his hair. "He's a good guy, I just thought he might've mentioned something like this."
Stiles blinks. "Whoa, he's the dude that was your roommate for a while, right? Man, that's shitty."
"Yep." He falls off the bed and crawls towards his bag to pull his laptop out. "Hey, didn't you have to go meet with the Alpha today? How'd it go?"
Scott scrambles off the bed and grabs his jacket.
Stiles' is pretty sure his eyes are gonna start streaming any second, but goddammit, he is not going to blink before this she-wolf does.
Said wolf's lips curl up into a smirk like she knows he's gonna give up right now and Stiles eye fucking twitches, and right then the door opens with a slam.
They both rear back in surprise, heads whipping towards the people coming out, blinking rapidly. The she-wolf briskly walks towards the group, scrubbing a gloved hand through Stiles hair on the way. Stiles goes to Scott - he's always been easy to spot, laid-back posture and easy going smile.
And suddenly Stiles is tripping over literally nothing, because he meets eyes that are green and brown and blue - the same eyes he has come to love over the years, the same sun-kissed skin he sees at night, the same jet black hair. He staggers heavily and wrenches his gaze away, his hand shooting out to hold Scott in a steel grip.
"Could we step outside for a moment?" Stiles smiles as charmingly as he can as with black spots starting to appear in his sight. "Scott, now, if you please, or we are going to have a very embarrassing and emotional crisis right here."
Scott has to sense that he's panicking, because he throws an arm over Stiles' shoulder, throws an apologetic grin at whoever he'd been talking to, and steers them both towards the exit.
"Breath," Scott urges, "Deeply."
"I'm trying," Stiles snaps.
His vision clears quicker than he thought it would, and Scott's concerned face comes in view. They're sitting outside on the curb.
"Is he okay?" There's a girl behind Scott who looks eerily familiar. Who also happens to have jet black hair, he notes.
Who the fuck.
Scott holds up two digits. "Stiles, how many fingers?"
He squints. "Uh, twelve."
The girl's holding up all ten behind Scott, but Scott isn't looking at her and stares at his fingers in panic. The girl's canines stand out when she grins.
"Yeah, buddy, I'm okay now." He blinks a few times. "I think."
Stiles stares blankly at him. "If this is you trying to give me the illusion of privacy, it's not working. There are werewolves inside, I'd rather not here and now."
"But I can't drive you back yet," Scott says worriedly, "We have to go over a few more things so you'll have to give me something, man."
Stiles squints up at the sun.
"I, uh- I may have just seen my soulmate." Stiles rubs his face. "This is so embarrassing."
Scott's jaw drops. Raven Head's eyebrows pass through her hairline.
"Dude, who was it?"
He pats his best friend's cheek. "Werewolves inside, Scottie. Not now, okay?"
Scott yanks the collar of Stiles' shirt down to get a clearer view of his mark. The girl's eyes widen.
"It hasn't even cleared up yet!" Scott says in disbelief. "Stiles, your mark is supposed to clear up within twenty four hours before you meet them."
Stiles places his foot firmly on Scott's chest and pushes hard.
"Oh, so you're saying its my fault? Like, Heavens forbid, I may have mistaken it? Or worse, I'm lying?"
Scott gives him an upset look.
"I didn't mean it like that and you know it."
Stiles breathes deeply again. "Yeah, whatever. Go back inside and finish your wolfie business."
The girl steps forward and offers Stiles a hand.
Stiles very carefully accepts her hand and pulls himself up, warily keeping eye contact with her while he dusts his pants.
(He's heard stories about this woman okay, she's supposed to be pretty terrifying. Or so Scott says. And Scott's a reliable source. Sometimes.)
"I'd love to stay and get to know you-" Stiles refrains from snorting, and Laura smirks, "-but duty calls. Do come along with Scott next time. I'm sure you'd be very useful."
Stiles watches her with wide eyes as she leaves. As soon as Laura's out of sight, Stiles punches Scott in the arm, just hard enough to hurt. Scott pouts. Stiles relentlessly glares back.
"Did you tell them? About-" He gestures wildly at himself.
"You know I wouldn't. Please tell me now?" Scott begs.
Stiles sighs and rummages his pockets for the small notebook that he always carries with him and scribbles on a page.
"Don't freak." Stiles warns.
Scott stares at the name written on the paper for a good few seconds. Stiles hadn't thought his eyes could get any wider, but yep, they're still going.
"Dude, look at me."
Scott looks at him with terror.
"Stiles. Bro. Oh my God. Bro."
"Go inside, they're waiting for you, Jesus, go, we can talk about this later."
Stiles end up having to push him through the door. He pinches Scott's cheek.
"Don't be weird, okay? Meaning no staring at the person or initiating anything with them, like conversations. I'll be fine." He rubs Scott's hair and he visibly relaxes. "Shoo."
Stiles goes back to where he was sitting before, across the she-wolf. She's making her way back as well and they stare at Scott zombie-walk away. She raises an eyebrow at Stiles and he reels in his emotions subtly, not wanting everyone within the compound to sense his panic. She-Wolf tilts her head.
"I know." She settles comfortably in the chair next to him instead of sitting across. "Me and Scott talk sometimes, when the meetings get boring."
"How come you're not in with the rest of them?"
Erica laughs. "I begged Laura to let me stay on guard this time. Those meetings can be hell. All-" She waves her hands, "-growly and shit. Not that you'd know."
Stiles' grin stops halfway when he's struck with a thought. Which goes something like this;
Laura Hale saw my mark. Derek Hale is my soulmate. These two are siblings. Laura Hale will definitely tell Derek Hale.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Fuuuuuck. Oh my fucking-
He rushes outside the building again.
After the rest of the meetings are over and most of the people have left, Laura heads up after Derek to their small apartment. The owner of the building is a Water Nymph, who let them have their meetings in the basement of the building. People rarely use it, and he'd said that the old meeting place for the supernaturals in the area was under inspection anyway, since police had found a considerable amount of blood after a brawl.
Of course, the blood didn't belong to any humans, but the police didn't know that and they let them be.
"Derek, come here for a sec, will you?"
He moans from the other room.
"Is it urgent?"
The bed creaks. Derek shuffles out of his room, scratching his cheek. Laura doesn't stop her smile. Shaking her head at her the fondness curling up in her gut, she motions for Derek to tilt his head up. Derek doesn't move.
"Aw, c'mon," She crosses her arms. "I only want to see your mark, I'm not gonna disfigure it or something."
Derek glares. Laura levels him with a frosty stare.
She's impressed when even that doesn't get him to relent. Like, she is still the Alpha, right?
"Okay, well," Laura shrugs off her jacket, "I did ask."
She leaps on him.
"Get the fuck off, what is wrong with you, ow."
"Show me," She demands. Derek wiggles beneath her, trying to get into a position that'd make it easy to throw her.
Laura firmly sits on his stomach, pins his arms with her hand and the other with a foot and forces his chin up with her free hand. She scrutinizes the mark a bit underneath his jaw while Derek blows air out of his nose in defeat.
She'd envied Derek's mark when she was younger - it always looked beautiful in comparison to her whispy knots. His was all mangled up, twists and turns here and there, nothing readable, curving beautifully at every turn.
It looked exactly like Stiles'.
"Yes." Laura crows. She let's go of Derek long enough for him to sit up and stare at her like she's gone insane. Laura feels a bit like crying and wraps her arms around him.
"Oh Derek, you big baby, smile!" She squeezes the back of his neck. "I've found your soulmate! Soul-mate! How awesome is that?"
Derek passes out.
Laura slaps her forehead.
Derek's head is pounding when he wakes up. For a werewolf, it's a pretty foreign feeling.
She doesn't answer. Derek can't even hear her heartbeat.
He walks briskly towards the fridge, shoulders only relaxing when he sees a bright pink post-it note on it.
Gone to get groceries, don't take any pills if you have a headache, will be back soon.
Derek's still reading the note when he hears her come in.
"I BROUGHT COFFEE."
He eagerly follows the smell of it.
"Why are you shouting?"
"I MAY HAVE HAD A FEW SHOTS OF ESPRESSO."
"Jesus, Laura, go drink some water."
"I TOLD SCOTT TO MEET US AT THE NEXT SPN MEETING."
"Stop yelling, I'm literally right here. And stop calling them that."
"I WILL NOT." Laura declares. "Sorry, just excited to meet your soulmate."
"I don't want to meet them," Derek snaps, "You can go yourself."
Laura hums. "It's a him, for the record, and you are coming with me, and I will emotionally blackmail you if I have to," She passes him his coffee and adds, "I shit you not."
Derek sinks into a chair and throws her a pitiful look. "I don't want to."
Laura's relentless. "Too bad."
"What if I don't like him?"
"He might not like you."
"All the more reason, to you know, not go."
"You're going," Laura says firmly, "I already told Scott and he agreed."
Derek gives Laura a horrified look. "It's Scott?"
"Scott's a sweetie babe, you'd only be so lucky if it were him." She says dryly. "It's his best friend, Stiles."
Now Derek looks terrified.
"Same one who had a panic attack yesterday?"
Laura gives him a disapproving look and he slams his head on the table.
You'd think they'd meet within a week after they'd found out they were each other's soulmates, but it wasn't until the next meeting of the supernaturals that they saw each other again. Which ended up being roughly a month.
The silence would seem funny to Stiles if this was someone else, but no, this is his life. And his soulmate. This is so unfunny at the moment, he wants to dig a hole with his own hands. Or run like an idiot, even knowing he can't outrun anyone in this compound.
His magic pumps harder and harder through his body the more anxious he gets and he thinks maybe he might just be able to swing it.
Fuck Scott, seriously. Stiles didn't agree to this, he did.
He gloomily thinks of ways he can make Scott suffer while Laura walks towards them, Derek trailing behind her, hands in his pockets. Stiles' veins feel like they're on fire, and Derek is watching him like he can see them.
Which is frankly ridiculous, his brain supplies, Werewolves have better eyesight than humans, yes, but none of them can actually look through a human's skin. Or anything's. What even is his eye color. Fifteen years of seeing the same thing and I still don't have a name. Laura's eyes are different though, hers are completely blue, which doesn't make her any less attractive, of course, but pales in comparison to Derek's, and haha, I don't think I took my meds, shit.
Stiles doesn't understand why nobody's sending him weird looks. Scott and Laura are talking about some Alpha thing they both have and Derek actually half-smiles at him when he comes back down. Stiles' gut churns.
It doesn't feel awkward, even though they're both just sitting there, watching Scott and Laura talk animatedly. Stiles wants to ask if Derek wants to leave and go somewhere else to talk, and as soon as he opens his mouth, Derek does too, and Laura and Scott swivel their heads to stare at them.
They both shut their mouths with identical clacks. Stiles subtly gives Scott the finger while Derek glares at Laura. Standing up, Stiles swings his jacket on and heads towards the exit, seeing without really looking that Derek does the same.
Stiles stops at the door and turns around to give Scott a stern look.
"Don't follow us. And stop her from following, too."
They don't stay to hear Laura's indignant squack.
They stop in front of the road, with a crowd of other people waiting to cross. Stiles smiles crookedly.
"Could you jump to the other side?"
Derek snorts. "I'm a werewolf, not a kangaroo."
Stiles huffs out a laugh and suddenly doesn't understand why he was so terrified of this soulmate stuff. The light turns red, and the crowd pushes them forward. Neither have any specific place in mind, and they keep walking past cafes and restaurants and small shops.
"Have you eaten?"
They head to a 24/7 diner near Stiles and Scott's apartment.
Stiles keeps waiting for the right time to drop the bomb. Or for Derek to drop it. If he has, you know, even seen Stiles in his dreams for the past decade and a half. Which is unusual for even soulmates.
A voice keeps chanting in his head, telling him Derek's probably never seen him before in his life. Stiles wonders if Derek will run if he tells him.
"I saw your parents die," Derek blurts out.
Stiles' burger slips from his fingers and he presses the heels of his palms to his eyes.
"Thank God. I watched your house burn, so I guess we're fair." He swallows half of his soft drink in one go. "Like, not actually in front of it, but-"
Derek looks relieved. "Through a vision or through my eyes, yeah. Sorry about your parents."
Stiles snorts, causing Derek to grin. "Yeah, you too, buddy."
They end up staying till two in the morning.
Scott hears clattering outside his room. Too sleepy to identify who it is, he silently opens his door and heads towards the kitchen, holding Stiles' bat.
He sees Derek on a counter, head tilted up, Stiles' mouth on his jaw and no hands in sight.
Scott drops the bat, covers his eyes and screams.