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Mirror Images Aren't Exact

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“Since when did you like coffee, dude?” Stiles asks, seeing Derek walk out of the neighborhood café with what appears to be a white chocolate mocha. “I thought it messed with your wolfy metabolism?”

Next thing he knows, he’s pinned against a wall in the alleyway, a wolfed out, clearly ferocious Derek pressed against him. While that would be great without fangs coming suspiciously close to his jugular—really great, honestly, he’s not going to say no this—Stiles is not exactly one hundred percent on board with this…situation. “Woah there, Sourwolf,” he says nervously, “I was just asking about…I mean, if you like coffee, I have nothing against it! Coffee is the nectar of the gods. Can’t survive without it!”

“How do you know about me and my family?” Derek asks, still growling. His claws dig into Stiles’s back hard enough to draw blood, but Stiles doesn’t notice, still hung up on the ‘me and my family’.

“Wait. You and your family?”

“Yeah.” Derek shakes him, hard, and Stiles is struck by the fact that Derek is wearing the wrong clothes and has a voice that’s softer and less commanding, more worried and pissed than ‘I’m going to rip your throat out with my teeth’ and pissed.

His eyes widen. “Okay,” he says slowly, cautiously. “Do you mind answering a couple questions for me? I think there may be a problem here. I swear I’m not here to kill you. I’m friends with you—” Stiles cuts himself off, wincing, but it’s already too late.

Derek eases his grip a little bit, body still poised to strike at any opportunity. “What do you mean you’re friends with me? I don’t even know you.”

“I think, well, this is going to sound crazy, but I think you’re in an alternate universe?” Stiles offers up hesitantly, biting his lip. He feels a thrum through the pack bond, and hurries up his explanation. “You’re going to want to let go of me, because my pack’s coming to get me, and they’re going to rip you apart. But look, okay, I know you, but it’s am alternate you. You’re here in my universe, and your whole pack died, and you rebuilt a new one and shit went down, let me tell you, but you’re Alpha here, and the you here kind of likes me enough to rip people that are trying to hurt me apart, so…” Stiles trailes off, motioning for Derek to back off.

Face now confused instead of murderous, Derek steps back. He’s softer, all right, more fuzzed at the edges. He’s got the beginning of laughter lines on his face—crow’s feet around his eyes, a faint bracket around his mouth—and he holds himself like there isn’t something bad lurking just around the other corner. To top it off, he’s wearing a sweater with thumb holes (Jesus Christ, that should not be allowed, women and men everywhere would drop like flies when they saw that) and worn, soft navy jeans. “My…parents?” he asks. “Laura? Mark and Cora? Peter?”

Stiles feels his face rearrange itself without his permission, and whatever expression he has on his face causes Derek to crumple like a marionette with his strings cut, falling into Stiles like dead weight. The ground is hard when they fall onto it—because alleyways tend to have hard ground, surprise, surprise—and that is how the pack finds them a minute later.

“What the fuck is this?” Derek snarls, ripping himself (now, that is a weird thought) off of Stiles and putting him in a chokehold. Alternate Derek hangs there limply, looking at Derek and then back at Stiles.

“I see what you mean,” he says. “He’s a little…rough around the edges. But I get it, really I do, because if my family had died…” Alternative Derek’s face pales again, but he dredges up some inexhaustible humor from somewhere. He pats Derek on the stomach, the only place he can comfortably reach in his position. “Hey, Derek, I’m Derek, too! Isn’t that cool?” A boyish smile and almost verbal offer of friendship exudes from him.

Derek simply stares at him like he’s grown a second head, which, wait, he kind of has, but it’s a second him instead of a second head.

The pack is watching this exchange with varying combinations of horror and confusion, and Derek Too, as he just aptly named himself, is scrunching his nose up as he looks around at the pack. “Really? You guys look like you’re about to go to war.”

Scott huffs, amused despite his attempt to try and remain serious, saying, “Well, that’s what usually happens around here.”


The thing is, after the confusion is cleared up and everyone’s found their ‘Wait, there’s two Dereks, now’ feet, everything kind of turns out pretty great. Alternate Derek is fun. He’s never experienced Paige or Kate, meaning he’d grown up as normally as a mythological being could given the situation. He prefers colored jersey shirts to monochrome henleys, drives a blue Taurus (“Hey!” he said defensively, smiling that slightly sheepish, adorable, bunny-toothed grin of his, “there’s nothing wrong with a Taurus.”), and works as a fitness instructor at the gym (“Seriously, I have some great exercises for lacrosse season, guys,” he tells the guys. “They’ll kill you, but they’re great.”). He also laughs at everything Stiles says, plays a mean game of pick-me-up basketball, and dances like a huge dork. Seriously, what’s with the hand motions?

It’s bizarre, but it’s awesome, and everyone loves him.

Everyone except Derek, that is, who glowers in the corner when he’s around, which is like all the time, and likes to loom over Stiles’ shoulder, asking if he’s made any progress on finding a way to send him home.

“No, I think the purple really brings out your skin tone,” alternate Derek tells Kira critically one afternoon. “Selena, my younger sister, has skin like yours, and she looks great in royal purple.”

Kira blushes in pleasure, and the girls look at Derek Too critically. “Shopping,” Lydia says.

Allison continues, “You’re coming.”

Alternate Derek looks at them. “Me? Now?”

“Yes. And don’t even try to get out of it. Allison, Erica, grab him.” Lydia spins, hair flaring out behind her in absolute perfection because it’s Lydia, and leaves. Erica and Allison grab his arms, Kira joining them, as they herd him to the door.

“But I’ve got terrible fashion sense,” he protests weakly. “Laura and Cora always said so.”

“They’re your sisters,” Allison says sympathetically. “They lied.”

They come back hours later, laughing, Derek loaded down with bags of clothes the girls bought. He drops them by the entrance of the loft, heading straight to Stiles. “Hey,” he says easily, touching Stiles on the arm. “Still looking for a way to get me home? You should probably take a break. It’s been hours.”

Stiles’s breath stutters in his chest. Sure, it may not be his Derek looking at him, all warm and fond and concerned about his health, but it looks like his Derek, and he can imagine the situation being like one from his daydreams for a quick second.

Something breaks in the background, and they both look up to see a scowling Derek holding the remnants of a water glass. Alternate Derek laughs. “Yeah,” he says, “I’ve never been good with the breakables.”

Derek only locks up tighter when Stiles goes to help him pick it up, getting a dustpan and broom. “I’ve got it,” he says gruffly. “I don’t need your help.”

“Just let me—“

I’ve got it, Stiles.”

Stiles nods, swallowing his hurt, and returns to alternate Derek, who at least seems to like Stiles on a somewhat regular basis. He’s staring at this universe’s Derek as he picks up the glass with his fingers, angry on Stiles’ behalf but thoughtful.

“Don’t worry about it,” he says quietly, stroking down Stiles’ back in that familiar way he has. “He’s just…well, it’s not my place to tell.”

“Yeah.” Stiles agrees, looking down at the grimoire he got from Deaton and going bak to research.


“You can twerk?” Stiles asks incredulously. Derek Too’s subbed out of the violently competitive two-on-two basketball game the wolves have going on in the abandoned train depot (which had been converted into more of a werewolf gym with alternative Derek’s help), letting Scott take his place. He’s standing by Stiles, who is content to be in control of the music, although Jackson had furiously vetoed that idea at first—“Because Stilinksi’s taste is shit!” “No, Jackson, your taste is shit and mine is glorious and underappreciated.”—and breathing a bit heavier than usual, his short hair matted to his head with sweat.

Derek laughs a little self-consciously. “Yeah. Laur made me learn, said it would make me a hot topic at the clubs.”

“Dude, you’re already a hot topic. Jesus, you’re like the hottest topic, how do you not realize that you’re hot like burning?”

Erica joins the conversation, flipping her hair behind her shoulder. “You kind of are.” She leers at him, cherry red lips screwed up in a sexy pout. “I’d tap that, anytime, anywhere.”

“Thanks,” Derek says, “but I’m kind of gay, so…not interested. Sorry.” He even looks honestly apologetic as he shoots her down for reasons he can’t control

Erica sighs. “Why are all the good ones gay?” She snaps her gum angrily but looks over at Boyd with a half-appreciative, half-speculative look in her eyes. Stiles resists the urge to egg her on, because he’s got the whole month of April down for the pot and he is going to win, dammit.

Derek shrugs. “Not all of us are gay or taken,” he says. “Stiles is single.”

“But he’s so far gone on Derek that he’s as good as unavailable. Oh, stop looking like I kicked your puppy, Stilinski. It’s as good as common knowledge. You run with a pack of werewolves, for Chrisssake.” She turns to Derek Too. “So. Twerking. Show me what you’ve got.”

And Stiles, tired of being ignored by his own Derek, who is apparently far enough away not to hear this conversation, says loudly, “Yeah, show me how you twerk it, Derek,” and flirtatiously puts his hand on Derek’s arm.

Derek’s up and out of the train depot faster than humanly possible, book lying abandoned on the floor. There’s also a hole in the wall next to the door that was no there prior to his exit. Alternate Derek looks at Stiles pityingly when he groans and slams his head against the wall in dismay. “It’ll work out. If it’s any consolation, if you two weren’t pining over each other so disgustingly adorably, I’d be gunning for you.” A consoling pat on the arm. “Want me to teach you how to twerk?”

“God, yes,” Stiles replies fervently. “Anything to forget the major fuck-up I apparently just committed.”


And then alternate Derek’s gone about a week later with a load of hugs and advice. “I’ll really miss you guys. Please stay safe, and oh! Show your love for Derek, because even if he’s all broody, he loves you guys in that emotionally constipated way of his.” They’re all moping and depressed, except for Derek who seems more cheerful (that is to say, a marginally less broody and scowly version of himself) than normal, and way determined to get up on Stiles’ everything.

“Woah there,” Stiles says as Derek buries his nose in Stiles’ neck, huffing out a breath and sneaking arms around Stiles to hug him closer. “I’m not a teddy bear, buddy, but-but-okay, that’s a tongue. That’s a—“ he breaks off in a moan, because Derek is literally sucking a hickey on his pulse point and it hurts so good.

“You’re mine,” Derek says, like it solves everything, and slots their mouths together, licking into Stiles’ mouth.

“Wha-what brought this on?” Stiles manages to ask about ten minutes as Derek breaks away to nibble on his earlobe, which is an erogenous zone Stiles didn’t know he had like woah, because his knees no longer support him but that’s okay because his legs are now somehow around Derek’s waist. (Dude’s got moves.)

“He kept fucking touching you all the time, telling me he would make a move if I didn’t. I saw you smiling at him and being so happy, and I wanted that, but I didn’t know if you did,” Derek admits, drawing Stiles closer, as if his quiet confession would scare him away.

Stiles barks out a laugh, and Derek draws away, hurt. “No! That wasn’t meant for you. Come back here.” He pulls Derek back to his previous position, carding a hand through his hair. It’s softer and coarser than he imagined. “Dude, Derek played you. He was never going to make a move on me. Told me we were both disgustingly adorable pining over each other on like four separate occasions, which I didn’t believe, because you always act like you hate me.”

“I’m not-I’m not good at expressing myself.” Derek still sounds uncertain, a little wounded. “I’m not like him, Stiles, I can’t be like him if that’s what you want.”

“Hey. Hey.” Stiles makes Derek look at him, cupping his cheek. “I didn’t want him. Sure, he was fun, but he hasn’t saved my ass a thousand times. He didn’t check on me when I was down for the count and watch bad reruns of Syfy movies. He didn’t worm his way into my father’s good graces through hard work and expensive whiskey. That Derek is not you, and you’re what I want. Besides, I prefer you and your grouchy stubble and creepy, lurker tendencies, because it’s part of who you are.” Stiles adds cautiously, a little questioningly, a beat later, “And you’re mine?”

Derek swipes his face against Stiles’ in a quick caress, his stubble deliciously rough against smooth skin. “Yeah,” he murmurs, ducking in for a sweet, chaste kiss. “I’m yours.”

Stiles beams half-maniacally. “Great! Glad to have that cleared up. So let’s have sex like, now, because you’re hot and I apparently do it for you, and I’m perpetually horny, so let’s go, Sourwolf. Chop chop.”

An exasperated growl. “Stiles.”

“You know you love me, Der. Don’t even try to deny it.”

There’s a pause, and a couple words are exchanged in tones so low they can’t be distinguished.

The loft is devoid of conversation for a long time after that.