It’s easy to forget, with the way Derek throws himself into every fight and destroys brick walls with his fists, that there are still those that can easily beat him.
Stiles is no more than a mosquito to a super-charged Alpha werewolf.
It’s how he feels when Kali comes into the loft and swats him to the floor with one hand.
She points at him, claws sharp and long under the dim lamp light. “Stay.”
Stiles swallows thickly and glances over to where Derek and Ennis are scuffling back and forth, gripping each other’s shoulders like high school wrestlers on the mat.
Kali pokes at Stiles with the toe of her boot and grins down at him.
It’s taken Stiles a long time to think of Derek as a ‘good guy.’ Some days, he still isn’t sure he’s totally there yet.
But, when Ennis slams Derek to the floor, one hand pinning down each of his arms, Stiles heart thumps and sinks down into his gut.
The good guys never win.
He’s not even sure why they’re here.
Stiles had only come over to grab some books he’d left behind during one of their scheming sessions. He’d gotten distracted by the one Derek had apparently begun reading (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
“Seriously?” Stiles had stuttered at him. “Seriously?”
Derek had looked up at him, the faintest hint of amusement in his eyes. “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
Stiles barked out a surprised laugh. Then, he laughed some more. Seriously.
Behind them, the loft door flew open.
Derek was off the couch and across the room in a second.
Kali grinned at Stiles and swatted him to the floor.
Stiles is in that strange, adrenaline-fueled, hyper-calm state on his knees on the floor. He can only watch as Ennis’ face changes. He becomes less angry and more predatory.
Derek is stunned from the last hit. His eyes are distant.
Ennis grins. With his hands at Derek’s elbows, he drops his hips and rubs himself firmly against Derek.
It’s about power, Stiles realizes. It’s always about power.
Stiles rises up to his knees, intent on doing something, but Kali spins around and knocks him back down with a closed fist. He hits the floor and feels blood start to trickle down his chin.
Stiles’ mouth feels like cotton.
Across the room, Ennis has gotten a rhythm going. When Derek struggles, Ennis lets go just long enough to belt him across the face. Again. And again.
When Ennis reaches between them, thick fingers pulling at zippers and buttons, Derek stops fighting and goes limp.
He closes his eyes.
Stiles closes his eyes, too.
He can still hear Ennis panting and groaning.
Closer, Kali huffs in amusement.
It goes on.
There’s more rustling of clothing.
Ennis moans deeply.
Derek shouts, wordless, sudden pain. He stifles it just as quickly.
When it’s over (when will it ever be over?) Ennis stands and puts himself back together.
Kali marches over and Stiles thinks, for one horrible moment, that she’ll follow his lead.
She kneels beside Derek, grabs his jaw, and leans close. “Don’t ever forget. We are in control. When we want you, we’ll have you.”
Derek rolls onto his side and brings his knees up. The entire left side of his face is bruised and swollen.
Stiles stares for a full minute before he can focus on reality again. He scrambles across the floor and slides into place beside Derek.
He reaches out, hands shaking with adrenaline, and touches Derek’s shoulder. “You’re-” he starts to say. “Do you-” “Should I-” “Are you-” “Oh, my God.”
“Oh, my God.”
Derek startles at Stiles’ touch. He pushes himself up with heavy arms. His eyes are bleary and unfocused.
“Are they gone?”
“Yes. I think. I hope.”
Derek’s fly is still undone. His jeans are too low on his hips. Stiles tries not to look.
“You probably want a shower,” he says, because that’s how it is in movies. Usually people want to shower, but they can’t, but it doesn’t matter in this case, because it’s not like... it’s not like anyone can do anything about this.
Derek stares at Stiles like he’s spoken a foreign language. His gaze shifts just past him. Then, he moves, struggling to get his feet under him.
Stiles slides under Derek’s shoulder and guides him the few feet over to the bed.
Derek remains stubbornly standing, swaying back and forth, knees visibly trembling as he fumbles with his jeans like a child that isn’t sure how buttons work.
Stiles takes pity and quickly does the button up for him.
Derek sighs. His knees finally give out.
Stiles catches him, sort of. More like, guides his fall to the bed, tangling his arms around him in the process so they’re both on their sides, curled up in the covers.
Panic is still tingling through Stiles’ limbs. He doesn’t know what to do with his hands. He doesn’t know what to do, period.
“Go,” Derek pants. His eyes are closed. “You should go.”
Stiles shakes his head. “I... what? No. I can’t. I’m not going to just leave you after... after that.”
Christ, Stiles thinks suddenly, is this just another day for Derek? Is this just another terrible thing in a very long line of awful occurrences? Is this how he deals?
Because that’s not going to work for Stiles.
“I’m going to get you a washcloth,” he says, with more confidence than he feels. “Then, I’m going to make some tea or soup or something. You should have something. Okay?”
Derek doesn’t respond. He’s breathing in a very slow, controlled rhythm.
Stiles nods to himself and starts to tug his arm out from under Derek’s back, when Derek’s fingers tighten at his wrist.
“Wait,” Derek whispers. His voice cracks and his eyes slide open, bloodshot and awful. “Just... a minute.”
“Okay.” Stiles nods. “Okay. As long as you want.” He lies back down and reaches around Derek’s back to pull him closer, until they’re sharing air in the shadows of the bed.
Derek twitches and shivers.
Stiles presses his forehead against Derek’s.
“I’m staying,” Stiles tells him. “I’m staying.”