Claws slashed through the skin of his stomach, pushing a pained scream, long and wordless, from Stiles’ throat just before the Omega’s head disappeared in an explosion of blood, bone, and brain matter. As its headless body fell to the ground, so did Stiles, clutching at his belly, feeling the skin and muscle – and other things, things he shouldn’t feel – bulge between his slick-sticky fingers.
Stiles blinked up at the sky, pain pulsing through him with every beat of his heart as he heard someone scream his name. The sky disappeared then, blocked out by Derek’s face, lines of pain and anguish making him, for once, something less than beautiful.
“No,” Derek whimpered. “No no, don’t do this. Don’t you fucking do this, Stiles. You can’t–” Derek flung the Omega’s headless corpse from where it was weighing Stiles down, then gathered Stiles’ upper body in his arms, pulling him into his lap.
Stiles closed his eyes, feeling sick as the world spun dizzily, but that was the wrong thing to do because it made Derek shout, shaking him roughly so that Stiles’ head jerked on his shoulders and he hissed at the feeling of more … things … oozing around his fingers.
“Stop,” he whispered, and Derek’s chest hitched against his cheek. “Hurts,” he added. Then, because he wasn’t sure Derek realized what was going on and things were getting a little fuzzy, more spinny than usual, he lifted a hand and said, “I think this is bad.”
Derek grabbed his hand, pressing a soft kiss to it before he gently laid their joined hands over Stiles’ belly, pushing so hard that it made Stiles let out a garbled yell of pain.
“You’re not supposed to do this,” Derek whispered, just as something hot and wet splattered against Stiles’ cheek.
He looked up again, searching for the rain clouds. Then his sluggish brain reminded him that rain was cold but blood wasn’t, and he wrenched his hand from beneath Derek’s, putting it against Derek’s cheek and looking for the injury that had him dripping blood. “You’re hurt,” he said, eyes locked on the blood that was smeared across Derek's cheek, the words coming out wrong because his tongue was too thick. His mouth too dry.
Derek shook his head, his eyes squeezed closed.
“Hey, Derek?” Stiles murmured, petting Derek’s beard. So soft.
“Yeah?” Derek asked gently, opening eyes that looked like galaxies behind a film of tears.
“It doesn’t hurt anymore.” Stiles smiled, then frowned when Derek’s eyes flashed blue and he yelled Scott’s name so loud, it hurt Stiles’ ears.
Well. He thought it did.
He just couldn’t be sure anymore.
“Oh. Hey, Scott,” he said when Scott skidded to a halt beside them, dropping to his knees. Stiles shuddered, huddling closer to Derek. “’S cold out tonight. Derek’s bleeding.”
He felt a little drunk. God, he was gonna have a hangover tomorrow.
“That sucks,” he slurred.
“It’s okay. It’s not my blood. Stay with us, Stiles, okay? Keep your eyes open. We need you.” Derek sounded like he was begging, which was kinda funny. Like Derek would ever… “We aren’t a pack without you.”
“You fucking asshole,” Scott said, but his voice sounded weird. Like that time Allison dumped him and he cried so much his nose was stopped up for over an hour, even with werewolf healing.
“Ow!” Stiles’ head cleared for a second, the burning pain in his arm helping him focus. “Did you just…bite…?”
Stiles blinked, then blinked again and it seemed like his eyelids were too heavy. But he wanted to ask Derek something. Or…
Maybe he wanted to tell him something?
“Why’re your eyes closed?” he asked Derek, fingers falling from where they’d been petting Derek’s face.
“Is it–?” Derek asked, and he was shaking in Stiles’ arms.
No. That wasn’t right. Stiles was in his arms? Who was shaking?
“Scott. Is it taking?”
“I don’t know,” Scott whispered, or maybe he shouted, Stiles… was kinda having a hard time staying awake.
It was cold and he was sleepy, but he had to tell Derek… something…
Derek pulled him closer, burying his face in Stiles’ neck while the ground continued to shake. Or maybe it was just Stiles shaking.
Derek wouldn’t shake. He was a… like. Something.
“Cucumber,” Stiles whispered, then nodded his head forward. It was too heavy to lift it back up again, so he just left his chin where it landed on his chest.
“D'r'k, derk. Heh. Derp.”
“Stop talking,” Derek said, but Stiles never listened to that and he had…
Something to say.
“The Omega,” he said through lips that didn’t want to work. They felt numb, just like the rest of him.
God, he was tired.
“Lost his head.”
He was still giggling when he finally succumbed to sleep.
There was a bird. In his room. Singing directly into his ear. Stiles reached out, swatting at it without lifting his head from his pillow. “Fucking bird. Who let a bird in?”
“Good morning, assmunch,” Scott said, his voice way too fucking loud for… What time was it, anyway?
Stiles eased an eye open to see his whole pack surrounding him just before Scott reached forward and punched him in the face.
As he grabbed his jaw, howling in pain, Scott just shrugged at Derek… who was…? Growling? What the fuck?
“What? He deserves that and more for making me turn him,” Scott muttered, though it was still incredibly loud. “And since I’m an Alpha, he’ll feel it for a little while.”
Stiles pushed himself up in bed as the events of the previous night returned to him, sending chills of dread through him. “Shit,” he whispered, then flinched as Derek got in his face and bared his teeth.
“A pun, Stiles? You decide to try to die in my fucking arms, and you waste your final words on a pun?”
Stiles smiled weakly and slumped back against his pillows, blinking at the ceiling as he processed everything. The over-loud clink of chains got his attention and he looked over to see Scott smiling wickedly as he wrapped them around the radiator, wagging a dog bowl with Stiles’ name scribbled on it in his other hand.
“Oh fuck,” Stiles muttered before pulling the blankets back up over his head and then nearly gagging on the stench of old come.
“Well, kiddo,” his dad’s voice rang out, stabbing right into his skull. “Could be worse.”
Stiles, breathing through his mouth, edged the blankets down again, quirking a disbelieving eyebrow at his dad. “How’s that?” he whispered.
“You could be dead.” There were new lines of stress and worry around his dad's eyes, eyes that were red and bloodshot.
Stiles grimaced, then looked around at the faces of everyone he – his eyes caught on Derek’s – loved. And he realized, yeah. It could definitely be worse.
“Oh!” he gasped, jackknifing up in the bed and pushing away the sheets and blankets before ripping the hem of his shirt up – literally. Oops.
Derek’s hand splayed across his belly, blocking his view. “It’s all healed,” he said quietly, a note of remembered horror in his tone.
“Yeah, yeah,” Stiles said, wriggling away from Derek’s hand. “But the important question is… do I have abs?”
Okay, he probably deserved the punch that time.