Derek walked in very quietly. Scott opened the door for him, he took one look at the pack members lingering in the living room, then started silently up the stairs. Sadness and anger filled every inch of the hallway, picture frames were shattered and the splintered, broken remanence of a wooden baseball bat laid uselessly in the middle of the hallway floor. Derek stepped over it all cautiously, his steps light and soundless. The door at the end of the hall was dark and the room beyond it was void of any sound but the whirl of a fan. Derek opened the door with a soft little creak of the old wood and shut it with a gentle click. The whirling fan he heard was standing in the middle of the room, pointing at a lump of blankets on the bed. The room smelled of stale tears and a violent sadness that almost made Derek's knees buckle.
"What's happening? Is he going tough love?" Derek could hear Lydia questioning Scott from the living room and he forced himself not to roll his eyes as he toed off his shoes.
"No, he's not even talking. I can't hear anything" He listened to Scott reply as he slid his shirt over his head and let it fall to Stiles' bedroom floor. He kept his joggers and socks on as he shifted the mass of blankets and crawled underneath. He laid on his side and moved shuffled towards the wall beneath what must of have been at least seven blankets until he found a cold, pale body curled in on itself. Stiles was too skinny, his skin was too pale, and his cheeks and eyes were too red. His eyes were open but he wasn't looking at anything, they just looked vacant and lifeless. He wasn't wearing anything but a pair of red boxers, his hair was fluffy and untamed, and the way his skin was hugging his bones tells Derek that he hadn't eaten much in the five weeks that he had been visiting Cora and Isaac.
Derek placed a hand in the middle of Stiles' back and pulled the boy into him, wrapping both arms around him and tucking his face into the warm crook of his neck. Stiles didn't fight it but he didn't participate in the hug, he just lied there and allowed Derek to hold him.
"He's not doing anything" Scott said.
"Just give him some time" Malia's voice chimed in. Derek tuned them out in favor of listening to Stiles' breathing. They were short, strained breaths, like he was always on the verge of crying but he pushed it down every time. Derek ran his fingers through the boys hair, scraping gently at his scalp in the soothing way his mother used to. Stiles' tired eyes fell shut twenty minutes after Derek had crawled into his bed. Derek could hear it the moment Stiles finally fell asleep because his head stopped jumping every other minute and his breathing slowed into a normal, even pace. Derek held him close even though his naturally warm body was overheating and he was suffocating in the stench of sadness.
Derek held him close for five hours while the pack idled around downstairs, some leaving and coming back. When Stiles finally awoke again, he started moving his muscles. Derek could feel Stiles' hands twitching against where they were curled up between their stomachs and his legs moved to bump into Derek's a bit.
"Come on" Derek spoke softly and he moved slowly, shifting the blankets up steadily to allow Stiles to adjust to the light. He didn't give Stiles a choice or an option to get up, he simply gripped the boys thin wrist with one hand, and gripped his hip with the other. Derek pulled Stiles from his bed unhurriedly, guiding him into the bathroom once he had steadied on his feet. Stiles still had that blank, vacant look on his face, but he was moving. Derek sat him on the toilet seat as he started the bath, making it hot enough to relax Stiles' stiff muscles but cool enough not to burn.
Derek made quick work of ridding Stiles of his boxers and gentling him into the bath. Stiles sat down silently, hugging his knees to his chest and staring vacantly at the dripping faucet.
To Scott: pick up a burger and curly fries from the diner on Jay Street. Pete's on Arlo Street is closer but do not go to that one. Go to the on Jay. Leave it outside the bedroom door once you get it.
Derek makes quick work of texting Scott before getting down on his knees and grabbing the shampoo. He tilts Stiles' head back and uses his palm to scoop water up and wet the boys hair, then he works the soap into it, scratching at and massaging his scalp. A small sigh leaves Stiles' lips but his facial features are still empty and distant. Derek rinses the soap out slowly, having to continuously dip his hand back into the water. He runs a soapy cloth along Stiles' back, stomach, arms, legs, and face, avoiding the general private areas as best he cant. When the boy is as clean as he can get, Derek lifts him from the tub and wraps him in a plush white towel. Stiles is easy to maneuver into a pair of boxers, sweatpants, and a tee shirt, and he sits willingly at the edge of the bed.
Derek kneels before him, watching for a second as the water from his hair drips down his neck. Derek places his hands on each one of Stiles' hips and dips his head a bit to see the boys full face.
"Look at me" the words bare no question and they leave no room for defiance. Stiles' eyes lift slowly, connecting coldly with Derek's. "Your dad died" he said, speaking clearly. Something flickered in the boy's eyes and they filled with tears, his cheeks doing pink.
"Your dad was shot. The man who shot him was Lincoln Hanson, he was high on heroine and he shot himself in the head after he shot your dad. John died instantly, and you know what that means?" Derek gently cupped one of Stiles' cheeks so the boy couldn't try and look away. Stiles didn't offer any answer so Derek answered for him. "It means he didn't feel any pain. And I know that nothing is going to make this pain go away but you should have a little piece of mind knowing that he didn't suffer" tears dripped down Stiles' cheeks, his lip twitching.
"I-" Stiles' voice cracked immediately, his throat closing up and his body shrinking in on itself. Derek kept Stiles' head up, gripping his hip a little tighter.
"What? Talk to me Stiles" Derek said. Stiles took a shaky breath, the vacancy in his eyes filling with sadness and anger.
"After everything that's happened" Stiles whispered, eyes connecting desperately with Derek's. "After the kanima and the darach and the dread doctors and the anuk-ite and every other big bad that we've fought, I forgot about the simple things. I forgot about the drug addicts with guns. I forgot about the danger of police work because it seemed so easy as opposed to taking down magical ghost cowboys on horses" stiles broke off as he started to pant. "It was something so simple" and the dam broke.
Stiles crumbled to pieces in Derek's arms, breaking, falling, shattering completely until he was nothing but wails, sobs, and screams of desperation and sadness. Derek held him tight, pulling him down onto the floor, wrapping his arms and legs around him until Stiles was curled up inside of his warm, protective embrace.
"He's crying" Derek heard Scott say.
"Is that good?" Malia asked.
"It's better to feel pain than to feel nothing at all" Lydia quoted, putting the rest of them into a comfortable silence.
"I need you to stay" Stiles whispered when all of the tears and all of the sobs had died down, slowly tapering off with small whimpers and sniffles. Derek gently brushed his thumb against the broken boys cheek and kissed his forehead.
"I'm not going anything. I'm sorry it took so long for me to get here" Derek pulled him in a bit closer. Stiles looked up at Derek with a small sniffle.
"You're here and that's all that matters. Just stay" he said. Derek pressed their foreheads together. He could feel Stiles' lips like a beautiful ghost teasing his own but he didn't get close enough to taste, not yet.
"I'm staying right here" his words a promise. Stiles' eyes fell shut on a relieved sigh.
When Liam came with Stiles' food the boy at it all. He wouldn't see the pack yet, but his skin was starting to brighten and his eyes looked far less vacant and empty than when Derek had arrived.
He got home an hour earlier than usual, glad to be kicking his shoes off and hanging his coat up before 10 o'clock. Derek sighs as he finally drops his gun and badge on the table. But then he pauses, because something isn't right, there's a scent lingering around the little apartment that he's only been able to describe as missing. Derek sighs softly as he peels off his shirt and rids himself of his pants and socks. Derek pads to the bedroom on soft, quiet feet, opening the door with as little noise as possible. As he presumed, there is a giant lump of blankets in the corner of the bed and a fan pointing directly at it. Derek doesn't say a word, he simply digs beneath the blankets until he finds his fiancé. Stiles curls into him immediately, wrapping his arms around Derek's shoulder and torso, burying his face in the mans chest and tangling their legs together. Derek holds him at his waist, running his hands along his back.
And he'll lie there. He'll lie there and let Stiles cry on his chest until the man is ready to leave the mass of blankets and eat. Derek will lie there, holding Stiles as he grieves and longs and misses. He'll lie with him, for however long he needs him.