Stiles doesn't know if he's ever been more tired in his life.
He doesn't know why, he never lifts a finger, never, never would Derek let him strain himself after his ordeal. Never. Derek will take care of him, his little human mate, his pet. The pack is on hand when they're needed, even when they're not needed-just in case. Derek tells Stiles it's a precaution. Especially after his ordeal. It gets a little easier to smile when Derek comes home, to welcome him with kisses and hugs (and deep rooted fear of the photographs in the basement). It gets a little harder to pretend Derek is his savior, his rock, especially when he leaves the room and he forgets he's supposed to panic.
Sometimes Boyd does it for him, calls his name and carefully reminds him that Derek's gone, that Stiles is supposed to care and panic. And he does, on cue, every time. He uses the fear in the packs eyes to fuel his emotional performances, resists the urge to vomit when Derek rushes back in and pulls him into his arms with his huge, caring smile. He fawns over Stiles, gives him his baths and feeds him and pleases him and makes him cum in the dim light of the moon. Stiles doesn't know if he knows that he knows (about the basement). But Stiles knows that Derek lurks down there sometimes, often after Stiles doesn't react properly to something (doesn't smile right, doesn't praise right, it doesn't feel right) and Stiles panics that it means another black SUV, another dead man.
So he panics on his own (sometimes Boyd is there too), silently, then waits in the kitchen with home baked goods and his crooked smile for Derek. With dinner for Derek. With presents for Derek. With nothing on for Derek (once, after a particularly bad mistake when he asked to stay at his Dad's). The pack obeys their alpha as usual, but they always take a minute to check on Stiles. They can't talk too loudly in the house and Stiles (Derek) doesn't like to (doesn't allow him to) leave it. It's always a quick minute. Scott possibly looks the worst and Stiles wouldn't dare comfort him with a touch (Derek didn't come out of the basement for three days) even though they've been friends since birth. Derek gets what he wants and he wants Stiles. He wanted Stiles so bad he almost killed him for the right to love him (Stiles regrets his consent). Derek doesn't like to share.
Erica and Lydia are allowed more than the rest of the pack. They can stay with Stiles alone. They can touch him. Not the slightest bit sexual but Stiles simply craves another person's skin, anyone but Derek and his overbearing, smothering presence. The girls are quiet at the Hale house, though. Erica's snark sucked out of her and Lydia's daring evaporating into the stale old air. They still check Stiles thoroughly for bruises, for marks. He's not sure why, none of them can stop it. Once, Erica asked to take Stiles out for lunch and the next week Stiles had someone to compare bruises with (Boyd had never looked so angry). Once, Lydia had tried to sneak into the basement and been returned to the living room by a smiling Derek with an blatant fist imprint and a blatant lie about falling (the girls had to leave early so Erica could drive her to the hospital).
Scott tends to avoid the house, wincing whenever his catches sight of Stiles on his brief visits there. Stiles hopes he tells his Dad he's okay and nothing about his broken body (Stiles hasn't left the house in months). Derek likes to nose along his neck after anyone comes to visit, tighten his hold on Stiles' wrists and compliment him on things he doesn't need compliments on. Dinner was lovely, Stiles. (I have devoured you) You look amazing today, Stiles. (You are always mine) I love my present, Stiles. (You owe me your life) You're so sexy, Stiles. (I own you and your future) Stiles doesn't dare cry about it. Derek will see or hear or smell, and after all Derek has done for him, what will he have as an excuse? When Scott does come by Derek allows them 5 minutes to talk. It's a repetitive 5 minutes, a ring of "how are you's" and "the weather is nice" and "what's going on" and "how are you's". Derek cuts them off there, usually. And Stiles wanders around the Hale house like a ghost.
Stiles wonders what would have happened if the black SUV had never hit him. He gets through nights with Derek by getting off on fantasies of getting to university and dreams of getting a life. He manages through dinners with thoughts of escape and honestly loving someone (else) and seeing his Dad again (it's been months). Stiles isn't going to lie, he gets through most of it with Boyd. He's as quiet as ever but he shares stories of what happens outside in the real world. He shares stories of Erica and their relationship and Erica's pregnant stomach. He shares carefully away from Derek. He shares. He shares the fact he's stolen a picture from the basement and he's going to give it to Stiles' Dad. Stiles has never been religious but they've come this far and he prays to god that he'll be able to stop faking it. Boyd heads home to Erica and her swollen stomach with the picture and Stiles' bloated hopes. He doesn't make it and Stiles knows it's another black SUV.
Isaac takes Boyd's old shifts at the house but he's not the shy teenager Stiles knew. He's cold now, hardened. He frightens Stiles because he acts like Derek and he's not sure he'll survive with two of them around. It takes Erica a month to pull the funeral together, the first time Stiles has been out of the house in almost a year. The first thing he does is run from Derek's side to hug his father (he pays for it later but it was worth it). His Dad looks too stressed, Lydia doesn't smile anymore, Melissa's too sad, and Scott's too haggard. (Boyd's as quiet as he ever was.) It takes Erica another 3 months to give birth to premature Vernon Milton Boyd V. Requests Stiles' presence to name him the godfather of her only child. She refuses to let Derek into the room.
Stiles knows it's coming. The way Erica, Vernon, and Lydia are pulling him out of the house. He's already left Derek behind (except for where he lives under his skin and in his head and god knows where else Stiles will find him) and Derek spends too much time in the basement. Sometimes he leaves it unattended, but Stiles knows if he dares to go down Derek will smell him. He takes the risk anyways. Stares horrified at the blurry shots of Lydia leaving work, of Erica and Vernon in the park. He doesn't know what to say to them, doesn't have to figure it out because they're gone before they're next visit. Lydia's hung herself because of repressed survivors guilt over Jackson. Erica and Vernon were hit by a drunk driver in a semi. Vernon held on the longest, Stiles could even enjoy his big brown eyes one last time because of the coma. Derek held him while he cried that night, and he couldn't stop crying because he was disgusted by his comforters arms. Murderers arms.
Scott stops coming by as often, still occasionally out of fear he visits to bow towards his nearly pack-less alpha and all Stiles can offer is a quick nod from the stairs. Scott takes care of his Dad, Stiles knows. He can see it in the worry lines around his best friends mouth identical to his own. It almost kills him when one day Derek opens the door to the Sheriff and a casserole. It's a good meal and Stiles scarfs it down like he hasn't eaten in weeks (he's been throwing it all up). Derek watches him the whole time and Stiles tries to cling to him, tries to be the terrified child Derek saved (created). He's not sure if he does a good job but his father goes home and Derek rubs his hand along his back as he shakes. He lived in fear that his father would be the next to die. But days past, then weeks. And Stiles' father was still alive. Until he wasn't. Stiles has never felt so ashamed for crying on someone's shoulder, even if it was almost therapeutic. It's too hard to focus on details, so Derek takes over the funeral planning. He spends too much money on it, Stiles wants to cry, but he watches silently as Derek pours money into the funeral like it's love. As weak as Stiles gets, Derek smiles more. He's more possessive now, a hand curling around Stiles' neck whenever they're together. It makes Stiles skin crawl and he wonders if he could run away now. There's only Scott for Derek to take from him, a member of his weak pack, how far would he go to keep Stiles? Sometimes Stiles stares at him and wonders but he has to stop, every time he does Derek retreats to the basement. Time moves too fast (too slowly) and Scott and Isaac are pallbearers at his Dad's funeral. Stiles had wanted to give the eulogy but Derek talks him out of it (he lets Derek believe that), he doesn't have to pretend to cry but he pretends to let Derek support him. People hug him as they exit the service, Derek stiffening with each touch. He leans on him in the church and ignores the way his comforting smile is more like a champion's, like he's won. If he focuses too hard in it, Derek might find out. It's not something Stiles wants, he has to focus, he had to remain focused. It takes all his energy to fake weakness.
Stiles doesn't know if he's ever been more tired in his life.
Why would he be? All he does is stand and smile.
All he is, is a trophy.