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“What on earth happened here?” a sharp voice asked from the entrance of the loft. Derek didn’t react. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Boyd. His broad, strong body that looked so frail now that blood was running down its chest.

Faintly he heard someone splash through the water, coming towards him. When he noticed that it was Peter who had stopped right next to him, his only reaction was surprise that Peter would ruin his expensive loafers like that.

Peter’s hand gripped his shoulder, squeezing painfully. It made Derek realize that Stiles was still holding on to his other side, futilely trying to give him comfort.

“Derek,” Peter said in his usual sharp tone.

“The Alphas made him kill Boyd,” Stiles whispered as if Derek wouldn’t hear him anyway.

Suddenly Peter knelt down next to Derek, squeezing even tighter. “Come now, pup,” he said and the shock of Peter’s gentle voice helped Derek to finally focus on him. He turned his head and stared into his uncle’s bright blue eyes.

“Peter,” he croaked out unsure what he was even going say.

Peter ignored him for a moment and reached out, slicing Boyd’s shirt open to expose his bare skin. Then he ran his hand over Derek’s arm, down to his hands. He took them and placed them on Boyd’s chest.

“You’re his alpha, Derek. For better or worse, you’re connected. I need you to find this connection.”

“But he’s dead,” Derek whispered while he spread his fingers on Boyd’s cold flesh.

“He wouldn’t be the first to come back from that,” Peter joked gently, covering Derek’s hands with his own. Then he continued, “Feel your power, Derek. That special alpha spark that you took from me.”

Derek wanted to rear back, wanted to justify his actions but Peter wouldn’t let him go. Derek’s claws were still out, red with Boyd’s blood, and Peter pressed them back into Boyd’s flesh. It was just the tips but Derek still felt like he was going to throw up.

“Feel the pack bond, Derek. I know you can do it.” Peter’s voice was quiet and earnest. It reminded Derek of hours upon hours they’d spend in the woods, Peter teaching him things, training him.

He closed his eyes and let the instructions wash over him, trying to find the weak pack bond he still had with Isaac. After a few long moments he felt an even weaker bond. Felt Boyd flacker in and out.

“Yes,” Peter hissed and Derek wondered how he could possibly know Derek had found the connection. But there was no time to think. Peter squeezed Derek’s hands tightly and commanded, “Now push. Force that power on him. Make the alpha spark heal him.”

Derek had no idea what he was doing but he felt something happening. He just tried to heed Peter’s instructions and kept pushing against Boyd. Suddenly there was blinding pain and he grunted harshly but Peter held him tight. “Keep going now. Don’t let go. It’s almost over.”

So, Derek did, unable to keep his grunts from turning to a scream that rang in his own ears. Peter was a solid force beside him. A connection he hadn’t felt in a long time. It helped him to work through the pain, to keep pushing and finally, finally to let go of that huge burden that was the alpha power.

The moment it was gone, Derek slumped against Peter, moaning weakly. The connection to Peter was still there but Derek felt like crying. Nothing had happened and he had given away his power. Peter had tricked him.

He was about to say something, so start a fight with his last bit of strength, when Boyd’s eyes snapped open and he started to cough violently. Cora and Isaac ran to Boyd’s side as he spit out blood. He awkwardly tried to wipe it away with a limp hand before he stopped and looked down at his chest. They all watched as the wounds started to close slowly, despite being Alpha wounds.

Stiles started to giggle nervously. “Is he the Alpha now?”

Boyd looked up at him, annoyed as ever and flashed his eyes. Beta gold.

“That’s a no,” Stiles mumbled and held up his hands placatingly.

“Enough,” Peter stated and slung Derek’s arm over his shoulder before wrapping his own around Derek’s back. “Stiles, help me.”

While Stiles helped them up, Peter kept giving orders, no one questioning his authority. “Cora, help Scott and Isaac take Boyd to the McCalls' house. Have Mellissa check him over, just in case.

“I’m coming, too,” Lydia said from behind them.

Derek hung in Stiles’ and Peter’s arms, watching the others help Boyd up.

“Derek,” his former beta rasped out but Derek couldn’t. He looked away and started to shake again.

“Oookay, rest now, talk later,” Stiles said firmly and then Derek was maneuvered to the door. Jennifer was there, trying to reach for him but Peter let out a growl, flashing his wolfblue eyes. She jerked back, looking hurt but Derek felt oddly uncaring about it.

Everyone shuffled downstairs and Derek was dropped into the passenger seat of Peter’s car.

“Where are you taking him?” Stiles asked. “Should I come?”

“My apartment. I’m sure you found out the address by now.” Peter sounded amused.

Stiles nodded distractedly and leaned down to Derek. “Should I come?” he asked again.

Derek could barely keep his eyes open, let alone had the capacity to appreciate Stiles’ worry. But he managed to shake his head. “I don’t think he’ll kill me in my sleep.”

Stiles snorted and straightened up. After closing the door with a bang, he tapped the roof. “Good to go.”

Peter gave back a quip and then silently slipped into the drivers seat, starting the car. “Not killing you in your sleep. What a ringing endorsement,” he stated as he pulled into the street.

“Shut up,” Derek mumbled and then he was out like a light.

***

When they arrived at Peter’s apartment Derek woke enough to get out of the car and up the stairs, leaning heavily on his uncle. It was nice being that close, inhaling Peter’s familiar scent. He just closed his eyes and let himself be lead into the bathroom, not even protesting when Peter started to take his clothes off. As long as he kept his eyes closed, he didn’t have to think.

Gentle hands pried off the wet fabric and then guided Derek into the shower. He groaned as the warm water started running over his head and back. Someone made soothing noises behind him and he leaned back against a solid chest.

“Just like that, pup,” Derek heard a whisper and whined. Then the water moved a bit and he could smell herbal shampoo before the hands were suddenly in his hair, rubbing it in. He let out a deep breath and drifted off even more.

Later he woke a bit when he was towelled dry and then guided to lie down on soft, fresh sheets. He inhaled deeply and rubbed his nose against them, hearing a chuckle behind him but paid it no mind. A cool sheet was pulled over his naked skin and he stretched out.

“S’nice,” he mumbled.

“I’m glad, pup.”

After that Derek fell into a deep sleep.

He didn’t know but after he had slept off the worst of his exhaustion, he started to toss and turn, to whine and whimper. Only when he was joined in bed, he calmed again, borrowing against the warm, solid body and kind hand that petted his hair soothingly.

Eventually though, he woke with a startled gasp.

“Shhh, pup. You’re okay. It’s okay.”

“Nothing’s okay,” Derek rasped, his voice sounding hoarse.

“Well, you’re safe here at least. Unlike you I made sure no one but Stiles knows my address.”

Derek tensed and wanted to draw back but the hand on his back held him, pressing his face against his uncle’s hard chest.

“I apologize. That was uncalled for. Nevertheless you are safe,” Peter said firmly.

He wanted to make a quip about how Peter apologizing was a miracle but he felt too tired to bicker. It was easier to just give in and slumb back down.

“Why are we naked?” he mumbled after a few moments.

“Do you mind?” Peter asked back and idly ran his hand through Derek’s hair, scratching lightly.

Derek moaned in bliss. “No,” he said and moaned again when Peter found a spot behind his ear. Then he added softly, “It’s like… before.”

“Indeed.”

The scratching continued and Derek lost himself in the feeling, breathing in Peter’s scent. When it petered out, his uncle’s hand was lying right over Derek’s spine but he was too mellow to worry.

“Are you hungry?” Peter asked and suddenly Derek was yearning for Peter’s Sunday pancakes. They had been Derek’s favorite food, only to be had on weekends because Peter was usually too busy but he had always made them when Derek felt down as well, even if it wasn’t Sunday.

At the memory Derek’s throat got tight and he looked up, his face inches away from Peter’s. “I want… I want to forgive you,” he choked out.

Peter’s eyes flashed blue and he squeezed them shut. It felt like his uncle was shutting him out so Derek pressed his forehead to Peter’s.

“Please, Peter. Help me,” he begged. He felt like he was at the end of his line. “I don’t know what to do. I’m not an Alpha anymore. I’m so much weaker than them. I need you. You… you used to love me. Please.”

With his eyes now open, shining wet but human blue, Peter cupped his face. “Oh, sweet nephew, I never stopped loving you. I know I’ve hurt you and…”

“But you didn’t kill me,” Derek interrupted him. “Even when you could have. Easily.”

Peter let out a wet breath and Derek leaned in further to nuzzle his cheek before pressing his face to Peter’s neck.

“I just… I need more time,” he mumbled, lips brushing against skin.

“Anything,” Peter said breathlessly, sounding oh, so true. “Anything you need.”

Derek nodded, accepting the offer. “And what about…”

“Don’t worry, dear boy,” Peter replied and suddenly his voice sounded sure again, sounded like Peter. “I have a plan.”

Relaxing, Derek smiled. He could do this. He had always trusted Peter’s plans and he could do it again. Because unlike Derek, Peter always had a plan.

Borrowing more firmly against Peter’s neck, he wrapped a leg around Peter’s waist and pressed even more against his skin. “Sunday pancakes?” he mumbled sleepily, closing his eyes.

Peter chuckled softly. “Sure, sweetheart. But you’d have to let me up for that.”

“Okay. Soon.”

“Soon,” Peter agreed and wrapped his arms around Derek, holding him tight.

FIN