When Stiles wakes up he sees a pair of eyebrows knitted together. He blinks and a blurry face comes into view. The face looks angry, no, furious.
Stiles blanches and tries to pull away before realizing his leg is hooked up to something. He yells in surprise and strong hands shoot out to catch his shoulders.
“Stiles! Stiles, relax!”
“Get off me!”
The hands let go as if burned and the man stares down at him in shock. “You don’t— Stiles—”
“How do you know my name?”
The furious looking face is replaced by one of surprised hurt. Stiles feels bad without totally knowing why.
“I’m— you’re— you don’t know me?”
He blinks rapidly, trying to control his breathing and immediately there’s a hand resting over his heart, stroking soft circles over his skin. He looks down at it, shocked.
The man shrugs. “It helps, you know, when you have a panic attack.”
Stiles licks his lips. “I still have those?”
Slowly the man removes his hand, frowning down at him. He doesn’t look mad anymore, he looks wrecked. “Yeah, you do. Stiles, I’m gonna go get your dad, do you… remember him?”
“Yeah,” Stiles licks his lips, head feeling heavy and throbbing painfully. “I think so?”
“I’ll be right back.”
“Hey—” the man pauses at the door, turns back instantly.
“Yeah just uh— what’s your name?”
He looks like Stiles has punched him but he swallows and ducks his head. “Derek. Derek Hale.”
The name rings a bell but he can’t place where he knows it from. Stiles bites his lip. “I’m sorry, I don’t— I don’t know you.”
“That’s ok,” Derek says softly. “I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere,” he adds.
“I promise,” Stiles says without thinking. Derek’s hand cracks the handle of the door before he disappears.
He’s lost six years. He’s twenty two. He’s been to college. His dad’s wearing a UCLA hoodie when he comes in to see him. The doctors are baffled. Stiles is tired. Derek’s hand finds his shoulder and he feels oddly better.
He remembers Scott. Ms McCall. Lydia. Though his stomach doesn’t jump up and down when she smooth’s his hair back and then bursts into tears all over him. He looks over her shoulder instead, bewildered, and meets Derek’s eye. Derek who hasn’t left his room at all to Stiles’ knowledge; who hovers around and glowers at all the nurses, making Stiles roll his eyes and promise them Derek isn’t all that scary, without knowing whether he’s lying or not; Derek who sleeps in the chair not occupied by his dad and never stops frowning, even dead to the world.
Stiles doesn’t remember him but he could sketch his face from memory after three days of staring at him.
A girl with lots of curly blonde hair tells him they were married before and that he thinks she’s the sexiest woman alive. Stiles laughs and Derek growls at her. The girl holds his hand tightly, says her name is Erica and that before Stiles fell they were friends.
“You were my Batman,” she says softly.
Stiles swallows and feels remorse all over again. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry I don’t remember.”
“Don’t worry,” she grins. “We’ll help you remember.”
“No more lies,” he says firmly.
“It was worth a shot,” she pouts. Derek shoos her out of the room.
He remembers Jackson; nearly dies of shock when he throws an arm over Stiles’ shoulder and then ruffles his hair looking scared. Like he almost lost someone he cared about. He doesn’t remember caring for Jackson.
He dreams of flashing blue eyes. Of burning houses. Of wolves.
He wakes to Derek clutching his hand and slowly removes his own. Derek is asleep, head pillowed on the mattress beneath them. Stiles runs a hand through his hair, tries to feel something, to strike a chord. He can almost smell chlorine in the air.
His dad drives them home, eyes almost more on Stiles than on the road. Stiles bitches him out for it and the Sheriff looks like he’s going to cuff him round the head and then thinks better of it.
Stiles misses his dad being gruff and straightforward with him, hates being treated like glass.
Scott helps him up the stairs and directs him left when he tries to go right.
“What the hell, dude?”
“You moved,” Scott says softly.
“Like three years ago, man.”
Stiles tightens his grip on his friend’s shoulder. “Do you think it’s gonna come back?”
Scott shrugs, not even looking like he’s breaking a sweat carrying Stiles. “Yeah, Lydia’s been working with the doctors nonstop, badgering them about herbal stuff.”
“Lydia? She barely knows my name.”
“Naw, dude, you’re pretty close these days.”
“And, I’m ok with us not being married?”
Scott laughs. “You don’t feel anything when you see her now?”
“No, it’s weird but I don’t. I just feel— I don’t know— fond.”
“She feels fond about you too, buddy.”
Scott gives him a trembling smile and Stiles punches him on the arm. He pulls his hand away, shocked. “Ouch, what the fuck?”
“I beefed up,” Scott says, looking both proud and worried.
Stiles knows when his best friend is lying to him without needing the last six years.
He tries to get out of bed and would have fallen flat on his face if Derek hadn’t appeared out of nowhere to catch him.
Stiles yells in surprise; something about slamming into his old bedroom door snapping into sight, Derek as close to him then as he is now. They’re both breathing hard. Slowly, Derek helps him stand up, keeps a hand tightly round his hip.
“Where were you going?”
“Bathroom,” Stiles grits out. “And you’re not helping me piss.”
Derek snorts. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Stiles twists to look at him in the dark, taking in the scruffy handsome face, the terrifying eyebrows, the intense eyes.
Derek sighs, breathes out against his mouth. “Yeah.”
The curly haired waif that Stiles caught lingering around the hospital introduces himself as Isaac and then nose dives at him. He doesn’t give Stiles a chance to protest but instead tells him to shut up and go to sleep. Stiles raises a curious eyebrow at Derek who’s almost smiling, he looks more relaxed all of a sudden. Stiles shuts his eyes to the lingering curl of Derek’s smile behind his eyelids. He dreams of chemicals and a fight in a house he doesn’t recognise. He dreams of sparks and books and claws.
He wakes yelling Erica’s name, Derek and Isaac both hushing him. He makes them bring Erica over, needs to see her with his own eyes.
“Tell me what I’m dreaming of.”
“I don’t know,” she says calmly.
“You were there.”
“There’s so much, I can’t even begin, Stiles.”
“Try me,” he says angrily.
“You’re still healing.”
“Fuck that,” he yells. “I’m missing like six years of my life! Tell me what I don’t know, now!”
He doesn’t realise he’s panicking until Derek’s hand steals over his heart again.
No one will tell him anything. They give him basics. Obama won again, woo hoo. Hilary won in 2016, fuck yeah.
His dad met a nice librarian and they’re taking it slow. Stiles tells him to get over himself and that life’s too short, thinking of the pained looks Derek gives him whenever he thinks Stiles isn’t looking; of the way Scott seems gaunt and tried but won’t tell him why; of the fact nobody will tell him why he has scars on his arm or why he’s pretty sure his dad took photographs that were in his new room down before he came home.
Supernatural ended with them riding off into the sunset in the Impala. Stiles thinks of sports cars and creaky leather. Camaros he used to lust after in magazines.
He hasn’t forgotten how to drive. He’s not allowed to even sit in the Jeep with his cast on.
Boyd introduces himself when he’s been home for a week. He was in Miami visiting his family when the accident happened. Stiles remembers him from fourth grade. They share a nod, Boyd gives him a bag of Doritos and Derek glares at him. Stiles eats the whole bag, Derek tries and fails to make him at least eat them with cucumber and healthy things.
Isaac draws a whole comic strip on Stiles’ leg cast. Scott draws Allison’s name with a heart around it and Stiles yells at him. Allison visits and crosses it out, puts Stiles in there instead. Stiles decides he likes her on the spot. Hopes whatever they were in the past, they were friends. They were, Allison tells him before bursting into tears.
She brings him photographs of local areas, the forest, his school, his college. It blows his mind how much things have changed. He feels lightheaded and exhausted afterwards. Reaches for Derek without thinking. Derek sits on the bed with him and talks about a tree house Stiles and Isaac built. The sign they put outside that said no fighting and so Scott and Derek weren’t allowed inside.
Stiles asks why and Derek shrugs awkwardly. Says it took them a long time to become friends. Stiles clings to his henley and asks about how they become friends.
Derek stiffens, sighs softly.
“We weren’t ever really friends.”
“Oh,” Stiles goes to let go, to pull away but Derek’s arm around him tightens.
“We were more,” he says quietly, staring at the wall determinedly.
Stiles hides his face in Derek’s shoulder. “I feel safe with you.”
Derek’s hand slides into his hair. “You should.”
He loses his cool eventually. Lydia’s trying to talk him through various options of coping and he throws the folder on the floor in lieu of storming out. He rants about how he knows they’re keeping shit from him, he knows there’s something up. He demands the photographs that were in his room be brought to him, asks why the fuck Jackson is still bringing him fruit baskets and who the hell the new people lurking around his room all the time really are.
The worst part of it all is that they’re so fucking patient with him. He can’t stand it. He’s not nice enough for it to be real. He tries to call Jackson to tell him to come round and punch him. Tries to get Scott to laugh in his face about his ridiculous cast. Tries to get Lydia to be mean to him. He yells at Derek.
Derek snaps. He clears the room in half a second, the whole group seemingly moving at lightning speed to disappear. He thrusts a photograph at Stiles where he’s the only one with his eyes open. He tells Stiles about this thing called a pack. This is his pack, Erica’s his partner in crime and they drive Derek up the wall; Isaac thinks the sun shines out his ass; Boyd thinks everyone is over dramatic and spends too much time on their hair; Allison and Scott are engaged—spent all of high school madly in love and Stiles helped when her family were against it. Derek’s spent six years arguing with him, fighting with him, fighting for him and beside him; he’s saved Derek’s life and Derek has saved his; he kissed Derek in July on a porch swing in a house they all practically built together; Stiles’ house. Stiles has a house and a library and a fucking lake out back.
Stiles and Derek were together. Are together. Derek loves him, is in love with him, hates him for nearly dying on him, doesn’t hate him at all, misses him like crazy but can wait, will wait. Has always waited.
Derek loves Stiles.
Stiles loves Derek.
Stiles has a house.
Derek is a werewolf. Killed his uncle after a crazy woman burned down Derek’s home with his family inside and his uncle went nuts and killed his sister. Erica almost died, twice. Stiles saved her. Scott is a werewolf. Scott broke his leg and healed in front of hundreds of people including his fiancée’s grandfather who wanted him dead for being what he was.
Scott is a werewolf.
Allison can hit a bulls eye with an arrow from thousands of yards away in any weather condition.
Jackson, Erica, Boyd, Isaac; they’re all freaking werewolves.
Derek loves Stiles. Built a house with him. Wants kids with him. Punches a wall and turns away breathlessly as he finishes.
Stiles stares down at the photograph, traces the faces. Derek’s face, turned towards Stiles, Erica leaning in to kiss his cheek, Isaac beaming shyly with his eyes squeezed shut, Boyd covering his face with his hands, Allison and Scott lost in a world of their own on the end, Jackson doing his best blue steel at the camera and Lydia laughing at him.
Tells Derek to take him home.
He gets in Derek’s car and sees a familiar gym bag in the back.
He texts Scott on the way over, tells him he’s mad as hell and he better get his ass over to wherever he actually lives double time.
He hugs his dad because his dad is awesome. He’ll always have his dad.
Erica, Boyd and Isaac are lingering on the steps of what must be his house. He rolls his eyes. “So do you all live here too?”
“And listen to you two all the time?” Boyd snorts. “Nope.”
Derek cuffs him over the back of the head and then turns to look at Stiles hesitantly. Stiles looks up at what is his house.
“Why did you let me go to my dad’s?”
“Because you’d know that place,” Derek says sadly.
“What if I’d never asked?”
Derek grins suddenly. “Impossible.”
“Alright, fine, maybe you know me a little,” Stiles grouses, wondering as he says it why he feels so comfortable around these people. They should feel like strangers, he should be afraid, they could tear him limb from limb. But all he knows is the tears Erica shed and the way Isaac snuffled into him as he slept, the fact Boyd shared Doritos with him (big thing in Stiles’ opinion), the fact that Derek has barely left his side in months even though Stiles didn’t know him. Stiles could have hurt him, did hurt him.
Maybe broke him.
He worries his bottom lip between his teeth and then points at a scar on his arm. “So, I got this?”
“Mermaid, saved Scott from drowning.”
“And this?” he points to a thinner scar on his forehead.
“Uh, that was me, I hit you with a carburettor.”
“Are you kidding me!”
Erica has the decency to look guilty, stands from where she’s been swinging her legs over the porch. “I was just pissed you didn’t see me.”
“So you hit me with a car part?”
“Derek once pushed your head into a steering wheel!”
Stiles turns to look at Derek, shocked. “You what?”
Derek scowls at Erica and shoves his hands in his pockets. “You were trying to make me strip for Danny.”
“For Danny?! Wait, are you ripped enough to be worthy of stripping then?”
Erica tugs at Derek’s tee shirt and he tries to fight her but she slides her claws in and he jumps. She peels the tee shirt up smugly.
Stiles whistles. “I don’t know why I was sharing that with other people. I am clearly the generous type.”
Derek rolls his eyes even as the rest of his face flushes red. “Shut up.”
“Sour wolf,” Stiles mutters under his breath.Derek stills and looks at him funny. Stiles frowns. “Woah, where did that come from?”
“He is a sour wolf,” Erica says fondly before striding towards the lake. “Race you,” she says to Boyd and Isaac. They both leap up and tear after her.
Stiles watches them go feeling fond and has a strong sense of de ja vu. When he returns to look at Derek, there’s a look he can’t read in his eyes.
Derek shrugs. Doesn’t say, I miss you or you still look the same, or anything else sad and depressing. Just heads for the porch, inclines his head at it so Stiles can follow.
“Wow,” Stiles breathes as he steps inside. It smells like him. His trainers are scattered around the door, his red hoodie on a peg further along next to a worn leather jacket. He recognizes the jacket.
He limps down the hall, Derek hovering beside him. The kitchen is spotless which makes him laugh. “You really haven’t been here then?”
“I got wolfsbane poisoning a couple of years ago, you didn’t go back to college for a month,” Derek says in lieu of any other defence.
Stiles nods. “Seems like something I would do, annoyingly hover over you, take care of you, insist on you getting bed rest. I bet we have the most fun kind of bed rest.”
Derek smiles softly at the floor. “Yeah.”
Stiles takes in a Disney calendar on the wall and laughs out loud. Scott’s birthday is written in, and one other date circled.
“Can I see? I mean,” he swallows. “Is it something you can control?”
Derek considers him for a second and then steps away from him.
“I don’t want to scare you.”
“You won’t, dude, I woke up from a coma with you inches from my face and I can’t remember ever having sex—”
Derek makes a noise.
“—this won’t make the list of scary things I deal with ok. I’ve seen Scott naked.”
Derek huffs out a laugh and then his face contorts, his eyes glow red and he grows a lot of facial hair. Stiles watches in fascination and without thinking, leans forward and touches his face.
Derek looks surprised but leans into it. Stiles pushes his jaw open and thumbs at one of his fangs. “Wow so, those could really do some damage.”
Slowly, Derek takes his hand and kisses his palm as his fangs disappear.
Stiles closes his eyes. “I wish I remembered.”
“’S’ok,” Derek says gruffly. “And,” he pauses before letting go of Stiles’ hand. “It’s ok if you aren’t ready for this. If you want to go home, or, not talk to us.”
“Fuck that,” Stiles snaps. “This is my house, that’s my favorite bowl on the sink and I’ll bet you all the money in my bank account there’s a duvet cover upstairs with dinosaurs on that you fucking hate but I won’t let you throw out. This is my life. Are you ready for this? I mean, come on Derek. It must be pretty difficult; I’m human as it is but now? I’m a liability right? I can’t even fucking run with this thing on. I could walk up to anyone on the street and think they know you’re a werewolf and prattle on about it, right? Do you want me here?”
Derek full on growls and backs him up against the counter. “Of course I fucking want you here.”
“Then what’s the deal? Why all the porcelain treatment?”
“You nearly died,” Derek snarls out in a low voice. “I pulled you from a trap laid for me, I carried you to the hospital, I listened to your heart beat slow till I thought it was going to stop. I watched you every day; I had to live with the idea maybe you weren’t going to come back. Forgive me if I’m trying not to lose you again.”
Stiles grabs hold of his jacket and pulls him in close. “I’m still here, ok? I’m still me.” He looks around desperately before meeting Derek’s eye. “You have to help me, Derek, please. Don’t, just, don’t let me give up.”
“You never have before.”
Stiles lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding and then yanks hard on Derek’s shoulders, pulling him in to kiss him.
Derek groans and kisses him back, arms sweeping round his waist, scraping against his back, tugging at his waist. And then his hands are in Stiles’ hair, dragging through it, tongue slipping inside Stiles’ mouth, everything about it eerily familiar as Stiles tips his head to the side and Derek kisses his neck, bites gently, kisses behind his ear, at his pulse point, everywhere he can reach.
Stiles can feel his chest expanding like it’s going to explode and he’s clinging to Derek until they’re hugging. Derek’s face buried in his hair and Stiles breathing against his neck, everything about him safe and burned into his memory.
His memory doesn’t come back because he has earth shattering sex with Derek.
He doesn’t have any sex with Derek for a week.
He still has a motherfucking cast on and Derek absolutely refuses to risk hurting him.
Derek is a priss and Stiles may or may not jerk off in front of him as revenge.
They end up frotting on the stairs the day Stiles gets his cast off.
Scott avoids going upstairs for a week.
The Sheriff brings donuts and tells Stiles about his job. Stiles has a job.
He visits his office, thumbs the photographs on the desk, smiles at the people he works with. He has no idea what their names are but one of them tells him she’ll tweet him everything he needs to know. His phone doesn’t stop vibrating all day. It’s very uncomfortable.
He goes grocery shopping with Allison and walks into Derek hiding in the next aisle. Isaac follows him around to every where he doesn’t go with Derek.
Scott calls him once a day just to say hi.
Lydia teaches him how to use a sword.
Stiles trips the first time he takes a shower by himself and wakes to Derek’s frowny eyebrows.
“’S’too early, go ‘way. I’m taking the day off.”
Derek’s eyes widen in surprise. “What.”
“You and your lack of punctuation,” Stiles taps at his face and then looks up at the shower that’s still running. “Were we showering? Oh my god, did I fall asleep during shower sex?”
Derek pulls him into a sitting position, hair dripping wet and Stile notices he’s fully clothed.
“Did you get blood all over yourself during a hunt or something?”
“Stiles, what day is it?”
“Who’s the President.”
“Clinton, I think? Badass Queen that she is.”
“Who am I?”
“The very sexy soon to be naked alpha I’m gonna blow in twenty seconds, why? What the hell’s with all the questions?”
“You remember me.”
“Yeah,” Stiles goes wide eyed and flings his arms around Derek, they slide on the bath tiles and Stiles peppers Derek’s face with kisses. “Hi, hi, hello, I love you.”
Derek laughs and it feels like years since he’s heard it.