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Frost on the Road

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There is a sickening crack as Stiles’ bat collides with the humanoid pagan god’s skull and gives Derek just enough time to use his claws in a more sensible manner. He’s been pretty out of it for the entire evening, judging by the fact he looks rather pleasantly torn up like someone has attempted to stick him through a paper shredder and dumped a bucketful of water on his head. Or some mild sedative that may or may not be poisonous. It’s a miserable sight, but Stiles doesn’t have long to appreciate it, because a moment later Derek is swaying on his feet and Stiles rushes to catch him like a proper Disney prince.

“Don’t lose consciousness now, I think I sprained my wrist.” Stiles tells him, adjusting the weight in his hands and dragging him towards the Jeep, which is standing just a couple feet away, thankfully, unscathed. It is illuminating the whole scene brightly and he’s happy there aren’t any onlookers, because this looks exactly like a damn horror movie with him as the obnoxiously whiny and deluded protagonist, kidnapping some poor dude and later if he’s lucky enough, disposing of the freaky supernatural corpse. What a way to get into the Holiday spirit!

“God forbid you ever try another method.” Derek says in a dry tone, even as he is smashing his face against Stiles’ shoulder, smearing blood everywhere, his hot breath sending shivers down Stiles’ spine.

Stiles snorts and yanks open the passenger door while attempting to balance the two of them. “Well, it is Christmas. I’ll see what I can do.” He offers half-heartedly and makes an attempt to stuff one hundred and seventy pounds of grumpy into his car. Derek helps along by being entirely uncooperative in turn. Irritated, Stiles leans over him to strap him in like one would for a kid or an elderly person suffering from dementia, all the while Derek’s battling away his hands and trying to prove he can handle it himself. He’s failing miserably, but Stiles doesn’t have the heart to point it out. Not even when he accidentally smacks his sore hand.

“Fuck. Stay still.” He hisses, clicking the seatbelt shut. “Conserve energy or whatever it is you guys do. I’ll see what I can do about the cheerful Christmas corpse.” He’s about to pull away when Derek’s fingers wrap around his shirt and clutch tightly. Well. Tightly for a normal person, but not for an alpha werewolf who should have a lot more strength than a teenage boy.

“Don’t touch it with bare hands,” Derek insists, brows drawn together in a predictably sour manner after being told what to do. Stiles can barely resist a smile.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got trash bags in the back.” He assures him with a weary acceptance of someone whose life is really at the point where his trunk’s filled with tools needed for body burying. “And more brains than you, apparently.”

To his surprise, Derek’s lips twitch slightly and he closes his eyes, the hand on Stiles’ chest flattening and pushing him away gently.

Stiles shuts the passenger door and squints at the body on the ground with disgust and mild amusement. In an attempt to blend in with the modern times, what was presumably a proper pagan god had dressed up as Santa outfit, except it had obviously got confused on some finer etiquette notes or it wouldn’t have chosen a stripper outfit and garlands. Not to even mention all the fucking glitter.

Ten minutes later, he’s managed to bag the thing and drag it into the forest, figuring the two of them will come back later and deal with it properly. As he emerges from the under the thick treeline, Stiles wipes some of the blood and glitter on his pants. It’s going to be almost impossible to get rid of it all and if he’s quite honest with himself, his clothes are beyond saving at this point. It’s a pity too – he’d quite liked the shirt. It had been one of his more obnoxious ones.

He opens the driver’s door and climbs inside, jabbing a finger at Derek. “You still alive?” he asks, masking the real worry behind petty and childish behavior. It’s better this way.

Derek opens one eye, stares at him for a moment or two and then nods. “Yeah. So are you… Thanks for helping out.” He adds as though the two of them are about to part their ways, but Stiles is having none of it. There is no way he’s leaving Derek at any disastrous habitation Derek dares to call home. Not on Christmas Eve, not when he cannot take care of himself.

“Sleep it off, you’ll feel better.” He says, voice softening slightly despite himself. Derek merely hums in agreement and drifts off to sleep.

The Jeep slides at least five times on the road back home and Stiles has to bite his lip not to make any sounds that would wake his companion up. He manages it in around thirty minutes, though and when he’s a hundred percent convinced the Jeep is on solid ground, Stiles allows himself a moment to just breathe in relief before getting out and dragging the deadweight of Derek’s sleeping body inside.

The lights are on inside and the door opens just as he’s a couple feet from it. His dad stares for a solid moment and then lets out a weary sigh. “Not again,” he complains, stepping aside so Stiles can haul Derek onto their sofa. John closes the door and follows them into the living room. “One more for dinner then?”

“Yup.” Stiles agrees, popping the P as he straightens up and stares at Derek’s unconscious form. “I hope it’s no bother. I mean… look at the state of him. I couldn’t just leave him-” His voice wavers just a little and suddenly his dad is eyeing him very strangely.

“Clean yourselves up, I’ll go put the lasagna in the oven.” The sheriff offers with a quirk of a smile and heads off into the kitchen.

While Stiles is rather convinced getting the glitter off is going to be a couple of days work, he figures the blood is less of an issue. He heads upstairs with the intention of having the world’s quickest shower. Ten minutes later he’s dressed and mostly clean, wondering if he has any spare clothing to offer Derek that won’t suffocate him. In the end he finds a pair of faded blue pyjama bottoms with tiny stars on them and his red hoodie and decides those must do.

Stiles does his best to clean up the blood on Derek’s face and in his hair with a wet cloth and hopes the actual wounds are going to close up soon. It looks promising, because they’d been way worse about an hour ago and it’s only the knowing look from his dad that he doesn’t go overboard with the saline solution he’s been using to clean the wounds. When Derek starts showing signs of consciousness again, Stiles makes such a fuss over him his dad merely shakes his head and returns to the kitchen.

“Hey, hey.” Stiles says in half a whisper, hovering over him without giving him much room to breathe. He feels he’s justified in doing so as he’s been the one doing all the work for the entire day. “How are you holding up?”

“Miserably.” Derek replies seemingly from instinct, before clearing his throat and correcting himself. “Better. The room’s still spinning.”

“Are you sure you’re not just doing a weird thing with your head?” Stiles asks, because Derek is looking around rather strangely.

“No.” He says, lingering a little too long on Stiles’ still damp hair before blinking rapidly and diverting his gaze. “Is this your place?”

“Yeah. You’re staying with us tonight.” Stiles nods, confirming in triplicate.

“Stiles, that’s-“ he begins, but Stiles cuts him off with a cross look and by pressing a finger against his lips. He’s not about to let him argue for anything unbelievably stupid.

“Shut up.” He says, narrowing his eyes at him, daring him to say anything. “Now come on, I’ve got spare clothes for you upstairs.”

There is an attempt by both of them to get up from the sofa, only succeeding because Stiles manages to hook his leg behind Derek in desperation. If Derek has any complaints with a bony knee in his lower back, he keeps them quiet.

“I don’t want to ruin your Christmas.” He mutters instead, leaning his head against Stiles’ shoulder as if it is a perfectly normal thing to do. As if it is something they do.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” Stiles replies cheerfully as they make their way slowly up the stairs, “I’ve always dreamt of dealing with a supernatural emergency on Christmas Eve. Dragging around corpses and unconscious werewolves. It’s totally my thing.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Derek says and Stiles feels a little more justified in digging his fingers straight into Derek’s’ ribs.

He balances him on the edge of his bed and instructs him to change his clothes, except Derek looks exhausted, almost like he’s about to lose consciousness again. Stiles lets out a small sigh and goes to help him, tugging off the shredded T-shirt.

“When the situation finally clicks, you’re not allowed to be mad at me.” Stiles says, because he doesn’t want to be slammed against inanimate objects by an upset alpha werewolf with emotional issues.

“I wouldn’t. You’re being nice.” Derek mutters as the two of them struggle to pull on Stiles’ hoodie. “Well, mostly.”

Stiles’ lips twitch upwards and he uses his index finger to push Derek down onto his bed. He goes down horrifyingly easy. “Take a nap. I’ll wake you when the dinner’s ready.” He advises and goes to leave the room.

“Stiles?” Derek says, so quietly Stiles barely misses it.

“Yes?” he asks, turning to look over his shoulder. There is a tiny reluctant smile on Derek’s lips which he is attempting to hide into the pillow and Stiles has a feeling whatever he’s going to say next is going to be of importance. He holds his breath and attempts to slow down his heartbeat.

“Just don’t punch me.” He says, looking very satisfied with himself, despite being buried between Stiles’ sheets and clothes.

“Wanker.” Stiles huffs and closes the door with a smile on his face. Oh, he’ll find a new way to wake up Derek. It’s not as though he can back down from a challenge.