The sharp scent of fear woke Derek just moments before Stiles started screaming. Derek sat up, quickly turning to Stiles before he gripped his slick shoulder. The poor boy was absolutely drenched in sweat.
"Stiles," Derek shouted. He gave the boy one firm shake, which was usually enough to get him to open his eyes and realize he wasn't alone, and he wasn't trapped in the dark.
Not this time, though. Fuck .
Derek clapped his hands, The Clapper being a request of Stiles'. Whether or not he was joking, Derek wasn't sure, but it came in handy for nights like this.
Derek was on his knees, working on getting Stiles to a sitting position.
"Stiles! Please, wake up."
Stiles' eyes opened as he screamed again, and he immediately tried to get away, but Derek held him firmly.
His voice was just as firm as his grasp, but not harsh as he said, "You are safe. You're awake. Here, look at your hands."
Derek gripped Stiles' wrists, lifting his hands so the boy could count his fingers.
Derek listened as Stiles' heartbeat started to relax along with his body.
"You're safe, and you're awake." Derek rushed out on a breath, checking over Stiles' face as he pushed some of his sweat slick hair back. "Would you like a shower?"
"Yeah, I probably should." Stiles was looking down at himself, disgust etching his features. He took a deep breath, covering his eyes with his hands.
Derek clapped his hands, and all but one light turned off, making the room dimmer for Stiles' sensitive eyes.
"I stopped trying to run, like you told me to do. I tried fighting them instead, but it just feels so fucking real . God, brains are assholes," Stiles said, turning to look at Derek.
"Yeah, I agree. You made it out, though, Stiles. You were stronger once again."
"Yeah," Stiles said with a small laugh. "Can you show me how to work your shower again?"
"Yeah, I can."
Derek got him a towel, one that Stiles had brought over from his own house because he claimed that Derek's plush towels didn't know how to dry a body properly. Derek didn't argue, but he preferred to air-dry himself.
After getting Stiles' approval of the temperature, Derek turned to leave him to it.
"Could... Could you stay? I just — I'm not ready to be alone, yet." Stiles said, poking his head out of the already steamy shower.
"Yeah," Derek said, turning on his heel. "I can stay."
Derek found a spot on the counter across the room from the shower. Stiles' body was completely blocked by steam at this point as Derek talked to him about anything that came to mind.
The conversation drifted from Stiles' school, to his appointment in the morning. Stiles quickly changed the conversation to Derek needing more art around the loft, which Derek agreed to. After a while Stiles took over the conversation, and Derek was happy to close his eyes, responding when Stiles needed him to.
Derek must have drifted off at some point, because he woke to Stiles poking him in the chest, the red towel wrapped around his waist.
"Can we change the sheets? They're sorta full of my sweat." Stiles said, cheeks looking a bit pink at the confession.
"Yeah, I'll get some sheets. You put on a pair of my sweats and I'll be right back."
Stiles went to Derek's dresser, pulling out a pair of grey sweats that were just a little too big on him. Derek smiled when he saw Stiles holding up the pants by the waistband, tossing the clean sheets onto the dry part of the bed.
"Let me help you," Derek said. Before Stiles could respond, Derek's fingers were fishing into the waistband of the sweats. Stiles' breath hitched while Derek tightened them up around his waist.
Derek's nostrils flared as a sweet scent filled the room. He inhaled deeply, feeling it settle in his chest down to his groin. Fuck. He had smelled Stiles' arousal more times than he could count, but never like this. Never when it was just the two of them, with his scent already coiled so tightly around Stiles'. Never when they were to share the same bed.
Derek turned away from Stiles and his flushed chest to rip the soiled sheets off. He had to absolutely wrestle the fitted sheet onto the large mattress, ending up stretching across it to keep all of the corners tucked.
Stiles got a good laugh in, snapping a photo of the Alpha which he refused to delete. Really, Derek didn't want him to. When Stiles was finally done watching the struggle, he came to tuck in the remaining sides, shaking his head.
"I honestly don't know how you survived this long without me here, Derek," Stiles said into the dark once they were tucked back into the bed. He had been poking fun at Derek, mimicking how shocked he was when the sheet wasn't working.
"Yeah," Derek sighed, watching Stiles move around in the dark. "Neither do I."