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A Distant Place (where you will be)

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The Universe doesn’t work in strange ways.

It’s honestly quite predictable.

The Universe isn’t benevolent.

The Universe isn’t malevolent.

At best it’s… ambivalent.

Maybe if the cosmos was smaller, maybe if each self-obsessed planet really was the only one to carry life cognisant enough to question the Universe, it would care more.

But it doesn’t.

Which is not to say that the Universe doesn’t care at all.

That is hardly the case.

It is just that the Universe is too busy, too full, too large, to care about someone’s bad day or someone’s pathetic love life.

Which is again not to say that the Universe would never help with those issues.

See, the Universe has a weakness.

The Universe loves new things, new creations, new life.

That affection, at its core, it what keeps the Universe spinning, moving, stretching eons and generations without tiring, without giving up.

The Universe wants new things to survive, to strive, to evolve the Universe into something better.

See, the Universe wants to help new things.

They only need to ask for it.

 

The average being isn’t aware of the Universe, they pray to made-up gods and goddesses whose power is supposedly infinite, but the only thing that is infinite is the Universe.

The Universe is the only thing tying all the planets together, it is the nothingness between everything, it is the vast unknown darkness stretching on forever, and it is in each breath taken of all living things calmly, unobtrusively, filling the spaces between molecules and atoms.

The Universe is the wonderment you feel when you stare into the night sky and the small feeling you get when you realize no one could count all the stars.

The Universe is what you wish upon when all the made-up gods and goddesses fail you.

And if you Wish just right, the Universe answers.

 

Most people don’t notice their Wish.

Most people use them foolishly, frivolously as young children to get new toys their parents will not quite remember why they bought, or to get back at a bully who will trip over nothing while lining up after recess.

Most children Wish for small things when they open their windows to let in a summer night breeze and find themselves staring into the sky and hoping.

Things that no one will notice.

Children don’t ask for millions of dollars or wars or death.

Children Wish for five dollar bills found on the street or more ice cream.

Most children Wish when they are too young to be anything but blissfully innocent, most children won’t remember wishing until they are teenagers and whining about how some cosmic power doesn’t care about them anymore.

Because the Universe doesn’t care, once the single Wish is used it cannot be redone or taken back.

Because the Universe is too busy, too full, too large, to care about someone’s failing test grade or someone’s unfortunate haircut.

Most children use their first and only Wish for daisy crowns and bubble gum and the Universe is happy to oblige.

But then again some children are not like other children.

Because occasionally, so very rarely, a child looks up and when they start saying “starlight, star bright…” they end up with something much more than a snow day or a trip to the carnival.

When Stiles Stilinski was six years old he sat in his mother’s lap as she pointed out constellations.

He stared into the abyss, and Wished upon a star.

 

And missed.

 

~~~

 

He stood on the stoop for seconds stretching into minutes. He knew he was he was supposed to knock. Or ring the doorbell. Or do something to introduce himself.

But he was frozen on the stoop.

Because if he knocked or rang someone would come and open the door and everything would suddenly be real.

Somehow it would be more real than it was right now, him with his cold rock bones and static stardust skin, every piece fitting as it should but nothing like he was used to.

He was used to dark and empty but here it was light and colour as far as his eyes could see, and if he knocked and the door opened he would meet him.

Whoever he was.

And the Wish would be satisfied and then what would ensue?

Would he get ripped asunder, disintegrate back into rudimentary matter and disappear?

Would he return to the sky to live out his days in the dark again?

He reached out, flinching as constructed tendons and muscles stretched unforgivingly, a facsimile of a real-living-breathing being he wasn’t.

He knocked.

The door opened.

“Hi, who are you?” A boy stared up at him with amber eyes.

“Oh,” he frowned, “I guess I got time jumbled. I could adopt a younger form if that would make you more comfortable.”

The boy, a child really, frowned, “But who are you?”

He wracked his brain for what he was called on this world, “HD 58061.”

The boy pondered that, “Okay. Why are you here?”

This was getting very frustrating, but he supposed children had short memories. Interesting though, he could have sworn the child had grown up in the infrequent times he allowed himself to glance at Earth on his journey. He was about to answer when another voice called.

“Michael, what’s taking so long? If it’s a guest invite them in, if they are trying to sell you something, remind them you only have ten cents to your name.”

“Are you trying to sell me something?” The boy scrunched up his face. A boy, not the boy, the boy who Wished had a different name. It was one of the things he had cherished on his journey.

“No, but I would like to talk to Mieczyslaw.” He tried his best at a smile.

“Who—“ The boy began, but the door was already flying open to reveal a taller young man with even brighter eyes.

“How did you know that? How could you even say that? Ever since my mom died no one knows how to pronounce my name.” His tone was low and accusatory.

“I apologize for how long it took me to get here, it would have made more sense to you if I had appeared then.” He couldn’t stop looking at him, eyebrows drawing together in confusion, long limbs drawing the boy behind him.

“What are you talking about?”

“When you were six years old, you Wished on me. You never completed the Wish and the Universe doesn’t like that. I’m here now, to complete your Wish.” He should be better at this, he had prepared hundreds of thousands of introductions, calm intelligent ways to describe what he was and what he was there for. In the moment though he was blinded by the fact that Mieczyslaw was really there, if he wanted he could have reached out and touched his pale skin that looked so much warmer than his own.

He wanted.

“Okay, so you are a fucking crazy stalker, right. Michael, get back in the house. Get dad.” Mieczyslaw backed up.

“I can explain it all to you, I swear.”

“You can explain it to the police, who are conveniently—“

“You were sitting on your mother’s lap when you Wished on me.” He put his hand on the door to stop Mieczyslaw from closing it, “It was at a lunar eclipse party your family had been invited to and you were excited that you got to stay up past your bedtime. Your mother was showing you the different constellations but you stopped paying attention after Orion and the Big Dipper. Instead you Wished on a star like the host had taught all the kids earlier. Half way through you got distracted by your father calling for you both and ran to him. You fell asleep before the eclipse and always regretted it.”

Mieczyslaw was standing there, frozen.

“How did you know that?” the words came out small and soft.

“Because you Wished on me. And now I must fulfill my celestial duty and do all that is in my power to grant you your Wish.”

“I think you should come inside.”

~~~

When Stiles went to the door to help out whoever Michael was harassing, he certainly wasn’t expecting a totally gorgeous dude to be standing there, and even when he saw that it was a totally gorgeous dude he wanted to climb like a tree, he wasn’t expecting…

Whatever this was.

This was crazy, some bullshit about wishes and the universe back by very real facts about his life and a guy currently sitting in his living room who looked like he could be not of this earth.

“Umm, so Mieczyslaw” He winced as he flubbed the pronunciation of his own name, “is my name, but everyone calls me Stiles. This is my father, Sheriff Stilinski. My step-mother Melissa. My step-brother Scott, and my half-brother Michael. Everyone, this is a genie from outer space.”

“That’s factually inaccurate.” The guy said.

“I can’t keep calling you ‘the guy’ in my head, what’s your name?” Stiles asked.

“Earth astronomers call me HD 58061.” The guy said.

“Alright, we’ll work on that.” Stiles nodded confidently.

“What exactly is going on here?” the Sheriff stood from the table.

“DH here is going to explain everything.” Stiles clapped him on the back.

Stiles thought he was handling this revelation rather well.

He had read and watched so much syfy in his life that nothing was really out of the realm of possibility. And besides, his life right now consisted of school, homework, and playing video games with Scott. He could use some mystery and magic.

“HD.”

“Same difference.”

 

He did explain, in long sentences with fancy words, about the power of the Universe and a child’s first wish. He explained about how normal people wished for small irrelevant things, which made the Sheriff laugh and say that Stiles was not a normal person. He fielded question after question from Scott and the Sheriff. Questions asking him to repeat simple information (Scott) and questions about the scope of wishes (the Sheriff).

“Let me guess, you can’t bring people back to life, and can’t make people fall in love?” Stiles joked.

“No reanimation, I could assist in matchmaking but historically forced matches do not last long, and I cannot manipulate time in any capacity. I frown upon murder of any kind, but if you ask it of me I must follow through.” DH shrugged, shoulders moving up and down too fast and too far, like he had only read about the motion.

“Hold on a second, if I wished—“

“Tried to wish.” DH interjected rudely.

"Tried to wish when I was six, why are you here now? It’s been twelve years.” Stiles asked.

DH threw him an exasperated look, “I had to travel over 3,600 lightyears, if I was a real star it wouldn’t have been a problem, but…” he trailed off unhappily and stared at the ground.

There was an awkward silence until Melissa interjected, her first time of the evening.

“I’ve known Stiles since he was five years old, it’s quite possible he won’t make up his mind for months. Would you like to stay in the guest room?”

DH flashed her a smile and nodded.

(Oh god, he was so cute)

“That would be lovely, thank you.”

~~~

He was lying with a light on for several hours when the door cracked open to reveal Mieczyslaw.

No. Stiles.

“Hey, I saw your light when I got up to get a drink. Can’t sleep?” Stiles whispered and closed the door behind him.

“No, I don’t think I can.” He folded an arm behind his head. It felt odd.

“Dude, that sucks. I had a lot of trouble sleeping when my mom died, I would get awful nightmares.” Stiles sat at the foot of the bed and hugged his knees to him.

He tried not to stare at where Stiles’s shirt tightened around his biceps.

“Not to trivialize what you just said, but I believe I cannot physically sleep.”

“Oh.” Stiles frowned.

“Do not let me keep you up though, sleep is important.” He was quick to correct.

“Nah,” Stiles flapped a hand randomly, “It’s fine, I was pretty much up anyway. It’s kinda a lot to take in.”

“I can answer more questions if you like.” He offered.

“How about we give you a name? I need something better than DH.”

“It’s still HD, but I have different names from different lifeforms, so you may call me whatever you like.”

Stiles’s eye lit up in a dangerous way, “You might not want to give me that power.”

“I trust you.”

He was startled to find it was true.

“Alright, say stop whenever you like a name. Harrold, Henry, Hank, Harvey, Hal, huh. Okay so I don’t actually know that many H names. What about Donald? Duncan, Dean, Dalton, Dominic? Don, Dan, Danny? Wait, no, not Danny. Dane? Dylan? Dwayne? No? None of these are hitting your fancy? Darren? Derek?”

Suddenly he nodded, “That one.”

“Nice to meet you, Derek.” Stiles stuck out his hand.

He gripped it tightly back, soaking in the warmth.

“Nice to finally meet you, Stiles.”

~~~

Stiles stumbled downstairs to the warms smell of scrambled eggs and extra crispy toast.

“Scott, your toaster ban is still in place for another three weeks, what are you…” he drifted off as he turned the corner and saw Derek frowning at a plate of slightly scorched bread. The Sheriff was sitting at the kitchen table with a plate of eggs and coffee in front of him, an amused expression on his face.

“I made breakfast.” Derek said simply.

“I can see that, how do you know how to make breakfast?” Stiles grabbed a plate and started filling it from the pan on the stove with a bit of trepidation.

“The Universe works in mysterious way.” Derek deadpanned. Stiles snickered and sat, cheekily stealing some of his father’s coffee. The Sheriff, not a morning person, made a half-hearted noise of protest. Stiles moaned when he took a bite.

“Dude this is delicious!” Stiles shoveled more into his mouth. Derek blushed a bit and spun back to the toaster, changing the setting and putting in more bread.

The Sheriff raised an eyebrow at his son’s eating habits, “Attractive.”

“Thanks Dad, always so supportive.”

Michael took that moment to barrel into the kitchen and gravely misestimate his speed on the shiny hardwood. Stiles watched as his little brother’s arms wind milled as his feet skidded on the floor until his centre of gravity pulled him face-first to—

Derek’s grip, apparently.

Stiles blinked.

Michael was suddenly off the floor and held up by Derek who had somehow crossed the distance of the kitchen in the blink of an eye.

“Huh.” The Sheriff said and took another sip of coffee.

“Wow.” Michael stared up at Derek’s face with adoration.

“Is this normal?” Derek asked.

“Stilinski’s have natural grace and charm,” Stiles shrugged, “You get used to it. That’s how we met the McCall’s, Melissa is a nurse and I was a rather rambunctious child.”

The Sheriff snorted, “We were hoping Michael would take after Scott.”

“Excuse you, I was a delight to raise.” Stiles scoffed.

“Maybe you should wish for an indestructible bubble to protect you. You could roll everywhere.” The Sheriff suggested.

“No one want to be friends with Hamster Boy, Dad.” Stiles finished off his breakfast. Michael was making a mess of the plate Derek has put in front of him.

“Michael, stop playing with your food. You have to be the respectable child so your Mom and Dad can brag about someone when they’re old.”

“Why can’t you or Scott be res- that?” Michael complained and mashed his fork into the mess again.

“Because,” Stiles started washing his plate and tried to ignore the very cute little smile on Derek’s face, “Scott the athletic adorable one, I’m the comic relief, you have to balance us out.”

“Scott’s the adorable one out of the three of you?” Derek asked, eyebrow raising.

Michael practically beamed.

“Don’t compliment him, he has a big enough ego already.” Stiles put his dish in the drying rack, which brought him in elbowing room of Derek, who just dodged gracefully.

“Who said I was talking about Michael?” Derek fixed him with a warm look which made all the words die on Stiles’s tongue.

They were interrupted by Scott basically flopping down the stairs with his eyes still closed, shirt on backwards, backpack unzipped, and missing one shoe.

“Mmnuffnn.” Scott mumbled and walked towards the door.

“That’s my cue.” Stiles quickly grabbed his keys and bag, ruffling Michael’s hair and dropping a kiss on his Dad’s forehead. Then he absentmindedly wrapped his arms around Derek.

Wait a second.

He was hugging Derek. Who was just standing there awkwardly and not moving.

Stiles hesitated, debating whether to let go and run out the door as fast as humanly possible or try to brush it off with a quip.

But then Derek brought his arms up and lightly squeezed around Stiles’s torso.

“Have a good day at school.” Derek said awkwardly.

“Right,” Stiles coughed and backed up, “Uhh, bye.”

Then he bolted, blush still high on his cheeks.

The Sheriffs low laugh followed him out the door.

~~~

He could feel the warmth of Stiles still seeped into the fabric of his shirt and the safewarmgood feeling of Stiles encased in his arms even though the boy himself was already gone.

He was worried now, he hadn’t been when he created the vessel.

What if Stiles didn’t like the hard sharp angles of this body?

What if Stiles didn’t like the cold that would transfer so easily if they were ever skin-to-skin?

What if Stiles didn’t like the darkness in his eyes he was trying to keep locked inside?

He stood there, in the yellow sunny kitchen, and wanted.

“I’ve got to drop this one off at kindergarten and get to work. Feel like being useful today, son?”

It took him a second to realize the Sheriff was talking to him.

“Yes sir.”

 

This was pathetic.

He was millions of year old and filled with cosmic power, he should be able to handle this.

Nevertheless, he had been putting it off all day.

Derek took a deep breath and gripped the paper tighter in his hand.

He could do this.

He pushed the cart in front of him as he entered the grocery store.

There were just so many people, it was overwhelming.

The Stilinski-McCall household had been, how had Stiles put it, rambunctious but this was chaos. He was used to the silence of deep space, not dozens of people and children all yammering and bustling about. He tried not to flinch at every loud noise and focus on the list before him.

It would have been easy if there were normal things like vegetables and fruit, or even more modern things like pasta, but what were Doritos? And Derek couldn’t imagine what food product could have the name ‘Lucky Charms’.

“Hi,” a peppy voice broke his trepidation, “Can I help you with anything today?”

A blonde girl with a nametag stood before him.

“I have a list.” He pushed it towards her. She looked a bit shocked and took it from him.

Perhaps he would adjust his social interactions. Although, Stiles hadn’t seemed to mind.

“I… uh I don’t really know what a lot of those things are.” Derek folded his arms uncomfortably.

“Oh!” The girl looked more certain of herself, “Are you not from America?”

“No.” Well he wasn’t lying, “What are Doritos and Lucky Charms? And Red Bull? I know beef comes from cows, but I did not think there was a difference between male and female cows, much less what colour they are.”

The girl started laughing, “Doritios are chips, aisle 6 with the snack food. Lucky Charms is a kind of cereal, aisle 11. Red Bull is an energy drink, aisle 4. Anything else I can help you with today? Or in general, need someone to show you around town?” She had taken a few steps closer and Derek was feeling a bit claustrophobic.

“I am staying with… friends.”

“Well,” the girl smiled and blinked slowly, “If you want to take up my offer, here’s my number.”

Before he could move she was right in front of him, practically pushed up against his front

She pulled a pen from her pocket and scribbled a string of numbers on his list.

It went impossibly downhill from there.

 

“Hey, I called Dad and he said you went to the grocery store today, how did that go?” Stiles didn’t look away from the game he was playing with Scott.

Derek didn’t say anything, just dumped the rest of the bags in the doorway.

“What’s wrong big guy?” Stiles paused the game and looked over.

Derek reached into his pockets and turned them inside out, a couple dozen pieces of paper spilled out and onto the ground. He was pretty sure he still had lipstick on his cheek.

“Oh my god.” Stiles’s eyes were wide.

“If I could get bruises my ass would be black and blue.” He said morosely.

Stiles made a choked noise.

“I should have thought about the consequences Stiles, I just wanted it to be symmetrical.” Derek had been poked and prodded and people had invaded his space for two hours, it was no wonder he was on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

“You wanted what?” Stiles looked like his brain was still trying to process the fact that Derek had been approached by every single woman and their mother.

“The vessel, I just wanted it to be symmetrical.”

He also wanted to sling Stiles over his shoulder and curl up somewhere warm and together and erase all the phantom feelings of other people touching him.

“Tell them you’re gay.” Stiles offered.

“I can’t lie.”

Stiles looked away quickly but that was probably because Scott had restarted the game.

“Stiles should be able to give you loads of advice on how to scare away girls.” Scott helpfully supplied.

“Oh, like you’re rolling in it?” Stiles elbowed Scott, “Mister I’ve-Never-Had-A-Girlfriend-Either?”

They both stuck their tongues out at each other and then returned to their videogame.

“Maybe you could Wish for a better videogame skills.” Scott joked.

“For that I’m going to stop going easy on you.” Stiles shot back.

Derek sunk into the couch between the two boys and closed his eyes, letting the conversation wash over him.

Stiles’s leg pressed insistently into his and Derek felt his consciousness drifting away from Earth.

 

When Melissa got back from her shift with Michael she was mad the groceries were still sitting in piles by the door.

Derek ended up cooking them all dinner in repentance.

Stiles’s feet ended up tangled with his under the table.

It was the best day Derek had had in a long, long time.

 

Which of course meant it could never last.

Chapter Text

They had three weeks before everything went to shit.

Three, amazing weeks.

Three weeks of Derek cooking dinners with Stiles ‘helping’, which was more Stiles sitting on a counter rambling then actually assisting with food preparations.

But Derek didn’t exactly care.

Stiles took him to an Observatory one Friday.

Derek wasn’t sure if he wanted to be reminded of all the stars and the spaces in between, but Stiles looked so excited he didn’t think he could let the boy down.

Stiles grabbed his arm and dragged him around to all the exhibits and telescopes and the tour guide was faintly alarmed when Derek corrected her a few times.

Stiles thought it was hysterical and kept pointing to random stars and asking their names and Derek loved every moment of it.

 

He liked how the Stilinski-McCall house burst into life every weekday afternoon when Stiles and Scott pulled up in that death-trap of a Jeep and rumbled into the house all sweaty and filled with adrenaline from lacrosse practice.

He liked Friday nights when Stiles and Scott would complain about having no social lives and end up spread out on couches surrounded by junk food for lengthy movie marathons. The first time Stiles fell asleep on his shoulder Derek didn’t breathe the rest of the night in fear he would disturb him.

He liked Saturday mornings when Stiles was still sleep-soft with messy hair and they would eat unnecessarily sugary cereal and watch children’s shows that Stiles deemed ‘classic’ and ‘mandatory for his pop-cultural education’.

He liked Saturday dinners where the whole family was together, the one night a week that Melissa or the Sheriff didn’t have work and the boys didn’t have extracurricular things. They were loud and funny and family and it made Derek’s heart feel heavy with pain. The Sheriff gave him a curious look after he caught Derek staring nostalgically at his plate one too many times.

But his favourite was Saturday evening, long after Michael and Melissa and the Sheriff had gone to bed and Scott was content playing video games, because on Saturday evenings Stiles would slip into his room while Derek was reading with his laptop and homework and they would just… exist together. Derek liked the way Stiles flung himself on the bed with complete familiarity. He liked the way Stiles looked, all warm and soft in shirts worn with age and faded sleep pants. Sometimes they talked, sometimes they didn’t. Stiles made fun of him for reading the dictionary, but Derek refused to feel bad about. There were so many words he didn’t know, meanings and definitions the Universe hadn’t considered important.

Saturday evenings were his favourite because they didn’t end. The first time Stiles had just nodded off, face smashed into his keyboard and papers scattered all around. Derek had gently picked everything up and pulled the blanket over them both. Stiles had stretched and blinked his way away the next morning, noticing how their legs were tangled and his head was pressed into the curve of Derek’s neck. Derek prepared to flustered explanations or excuses or flat out flailing as far away from him as fast as possible.

Stiles just yawned again and asked, “Why do you never turn the light off?”

“I never want to be in the dark again.”

“Okay.” Stiles murmured, shuffling around until they were pressed back-to-chest and pulled Derek’s arm around himself.

That’s why Saturday evenings were his favourite.

 

And he dreaded every Sunday night.

Because every Sunday night Stiles and Scott crammed in the last of their homework, burrowed in their respective rooms.

Because every Sunday night Derek had to fulfil his duty. He would walked up to Stiles’s door, knock lightly, and ask the question he dreaded most in the world.

“Have you decided on you Wish?”

But every Sunday Stiles would look up, smile, and say “Not yet.”

And finally he could breathe again.

For another week.

 

But it was nice, and in Derek’s life he didn’t get to keep nice things.

At dinner on Saturday, three weeks since Derek arrived, the Sheriff came back from work with trepidation in his eyes.

“We have a problem.” He said, and set a newspaper on the table.

Star Mysteriously Vanishes: Astronomers Baffled it read, in big print with pictures and everything.

Derek froze in place.

“What does this mean for us? It’s not like the obvious answer is ‘oh the star turned into a person and is now living in a small town in middle-of-nowhere California’” Stiles asked.

“No, but people are going to looking into this, stars don’t just disappear. There is going to be an international effort to figure out what happened. And if they do figure it out… well it won’t exactly be pleasant for Derek.” The Sheriff sat down heavily.

“We have a bigger problem than that.” Derek said softly, eyes finally unsticking from the paper in front of him, “That star isn’t me.”

~~~

“What?” Stiles’s mouth dropped open, “So some other kid Wished on a star?”

“No,” Derek looked a bizarre combination of frustrated and scared, “It really doesn’t work like that, stars don’t just fall out of the sky normally. What happened with you is incredibly rare, either someone managed to mess up a Wish as badly as you did, or they knew exactly what they were doing.”

Melissa instantly whipped around, “Michael…”

Michael looked up from the peas he was pushing around his plate, trying and failing to look innocent, “What?”

“What did you do?” Melissa’s voice held so much motherly authority it had the two older boys flinching.

“It just wasn’t fairrr…” Michael complained, kicking his legs against the chair.

“So you Wished for your own star?” Melissa leaned forward.

“Noooo, it wasn’t fair.” Michael looked on the verge of tears, “Stiles got Derek and they spend so much time together that Scott was sad. I didn’t want Scott to be sad, so I Wished Scott had someone just like Stiles had someone.”

“Oh god, so in 12 years some girl with dimples is going to show up on the door step?” Stiles groaned and put his head in his hands.

“Faster than that, the star was relatively close and… well, most stars can move faster than me.” Derek looked down at the floor.

“How long?” Scott looked more excited than nervous, what a fucking idiot.

“21 hours, give or take? Then maybe another to construct her vessel and arrive here.” Derek hedged.

“Micheal, when did you Wish?” Melissa turned sharply to her younger son.

“Last night… around ten.” Michael was not making eye contact with anyone.

Melissa lightly whapped him on the head, “Your bedtime is eight.”

“It’s six right now, she’ll be here in two hours?” If Scott was a puppy his tail would be wagging. Derek was just looking more and more freaked out.

“Come on, I think this family meeting is wrapped for right now. Scott, you should probably clean your room.” Stiles said.

“Right!” The teenager’s eye widened and he took off up the stairs. Melissa was hot on his heels yelling that some random star was definitely not sleeping in his room. The Sheriff glanced at Michael where he was still mashing his peas into gross green gunk.

“Well, not much more we can do tonight.”

Stiles grabbed Derek’s hand before his dad could change his mind and pulled him into the guest room.

Derek sat down on the bed heavily and Stiles leaned back on the door after he closed it behind them.

“I think it’s time for that talk we’ve been avoiding.” Stiles said softly.

Every muscle in Derek’s body looked like it locked at once, eyes flashing up to Stiles.

“No! No, I don’t want to use my Wish!” Stiles practically yelled in an effort to get the horror-betrayal look off Derek’s face. Stiles dove forward ungracefully, practically falling into his lap in an effort to verbally and physically reassure him.

“I just… I feel like you haven’t been telling the truth and I was kind of hoping you trusted me enough at this point to really tell me what is going on, and feel free to stop my rambling because I just realized that I’m basically straddling you and if you haven’t noticed I tend to ramble when I’m nervous and—“

Derek placed a cool hand over his mouth and gave him a soft look.

“Shut up, Stiles. Of course I trust you.”

Stiles licked his hand. Because Stiles was actually still six years old.

“So what are you?” Stiles asked.

Derek closed his eyes and when he opened them Stiles could see the determination in them. Derek leaned back, pulling Stiles with him and arranging them so he was lying practically on top of him. If it was anyone else Stiles would be worried he was crushing them, but this was Derek and Derek could take his weight.

“I was a star, a long time ago. We don’t exactly have families in space, but we have the stars and planets near us and we… well we don’t really talk but we can communicate in our own way. I had a mother, a father, an uncle, sisters, brothers, several cousins. I was lucky, some stars are all by themselves. They kept me stable. But then an asteroid belt passed through, destroying the majority of our cluster.” Derek paused.

Stiles tightened his hold.

“Two of my sisters and I survived. My uncle was badly damaged but still there. It was horrible but we dealt with it, for thousands of years. I was so preoccupied in my grief that I didn’t notice my uncle escaping his normal orbit and hurtling towards my sister. I didn’t even think about it, I just couldn’t lose anyone else…”

“It’s okay.” Stiles murmured into Derek’s neck. In his head everything was playing out like the most tragic backstory, living stars were such a bizarre concept to him he couldn’t help but imagine people.

“I collapsed my core.” Derek breathed out, “I went supernova and destroyed myself to save my sister.”

“I don’t really know anything about stars and star culture, but as a human it sounds like you did something selfless and brave.”

“But it wasn’t. It was just speeding up the inevitable. I was always going down that path. I was a hypergiant, one of the most luminous stars in the universe but also the most unstable. I had too many faults, to many instabilities from the beginning of my creation. I uncontrollably burned through matter, my lifespan was only a few million years. I was always going to cause destruction. When the asteroids obliterated my cluster, I was relieved. Because at least their end wouldn’t be my fault.”

“No.” Stiles propped himself up on his elbows violently, meeting Derek’s eyes, “You can’t help what you are born, if the Universe exists as some greater force then it was there when you were created and you are exactly what you are meant to be. Never apologies for what you can’t control. You saved your sisters and that makes you a goddamn hero in my book.”

“Stiles…” Derek said.

“Nope, not one fucking word HD. Bad things happened to you, that does not make you a bad person. You’re not allowed to feel guilty about anything.”

“Oh, just like that? Stiles says so, so I have to?” Derek teased weakly.

“Yep, just like that.” Stiles grinned.

“Okay.” Derek smiled slightly back.

“It’s like a game of Stiles say. Stiles says don’t feel guilty. Stiles says believe you are worthy of everything good in your life.”

“Poof, just like that.” Derek carded his hands through Stiles’s hair and Stiles sighed into the feeling, “Besides, the best thing in my life right now is you.”

Stiles’s heart beat double time.

“If you say anything else that’s disgustingly romantic I might melt into a puddle of sappiness and you have fun explaining that stain to Melissa.”

But apparently his social ineptitude was working just fine.

Suddenly his pillow of Derek’s impressive pectorals was shifting and flipping him onto his back. Stiles’s breath caught as Derek hovered over him, loosely pinning Stiles’s hands above his head.

“Well, can’t have that.” Derek looked predatory.

“Kiss me.” The words spilled without thought, soft but desperate.

Derek’s head lowered tantalizing and then he paused.

Stiles groaned in frustration, “Why in the world are you stopping?”

“You didn’t say Stiles says.”

“You’re a fucking asshole, Stiles says fucking kiss me before I come in my pants from sheer sexual tension.”  

“Can’t have that either.” Derek finally closed the distance.

Stiles surged into the kiss, trying to keep his lack of experience from showing. Derek pulled back a bit, chuckling.

“Slow down, we’ve got time.”

“But I’ve been waiting so long for this.” Stiles complained, irritated.

“I assure you,” Derek lightly bit at his bottom lip, Stiles barely restrained his moan of appreciation, “I have been waiting far longer than you have.”

They kissed again, teasing soft touches that dissolved into more. Stiles didn’t want to release the grip he had in Derek’s hair, but there was a whole chest there he hadn’t touched.

“Can I… Stiles.” Derek tugged on the hem of his shirt. Oh god, yes.

Please.”

And then strong hands were slipping under his shirt and running up his back. Stiles shivered at the sensation, which had Derek instantly pulling back.

“Sorry, sorry—“

“What the hell are you apologising for?” Stiles grabbed his wrist.

“I know I’m… cold.”

“I don’t care. Okay?” Stiles put a hand on Derek’s cheek, lightly drawing him closer.

“Okay.”

And then Derek’s hands were sliding down his ribs to his hips, gripping tight and bringing them up to meet his and oh fuck—

“But if you don’t want to take this further right now, you have got to stop.” Stiles panted.

“…right.” Derek said disappointedly. Stiles jerked as Derek ran his mouth along the line of his neck, stubble scarping the sensitive skin there.

“Like stop everything remotely sexual, virgin teenage boy right here.”

Derek huffed but moved over, dragging Stiles into his chest in a way that was definitely more cuddly than anything else.

There was a few minutes of silence until Stiles couldn’t take it anymore.

“You never answered my question.” He shifted to look at Derek.

“What was that?” Derek looked a bit high, eyes unfocused and a dopey smile on his face.

“What exactly are you?” Stiles asked.

Derek’s happy expression dropped.

“I’m a black hole.”

 

Then the doorbell rang.

Chapter Text

She was standing on the doorstep in simple jeans and a shirt.

Scott was standing, blocking the doorway, with his mouth handing open.

Stiles could understand his shock. The girl was gorgeous, night black hair and pale skin like Derek, symmetrical facial features and everything. Scott needed more symmetrical facial features in his life. Her eyes were perhaps the most captivating. They seemed to spark and glow in the shifting evening light. Derek’s weren’t like that at all, but that made sense, considering… So the girl was hot, but still, after having bolted down stairs and flung open the door Scott should be doing more than just standing there.

“…Hi.”

Atta boy, Scotty.

“Hi.” She said back, cutely tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, “I’m here about a Wish?”

 

Her name was Proxima Centauri. She was the closest star to Earth, besides the sun. She was in orbit with her two parent stars, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B.

Stiles thought they sounded terrifying.

“We can’t really go around calling you Proxima, it’s not really a common name. Someone might figure it out.” Melissa shivered, “I can’t imagine what scientists would do with you two if they found you.”

Stiles’s brain got distracted by the thought of Derek strapped down shirtless, which was arbitrarily a nice image but not as fun in real life when they would probably cut him open to figure out how he ticked.

“You can call me whatever you like.” She smiled angelically. Scott looked even more enamoured. Gross.

“How about Amara?” Stiles suggested, “Or Allison?”

Scott threw him a dirty look but dropped it when Proxima Centauri stared nodding.

“I like Allison. It sounds nice.” She smiled again. Even her dimples were adorable.

“Allison.” Scott said softly, a dopey look on his face.

Stiles mimicked gagging behind the two and was rewarded with a slight curl of Derek’s lip. 

He was glad Michael had already been put to bed because this display of puppy love would have been too much for his young eyes.

“I think this has been enough excitement for one night. I know you two don’t have school tomorrow, but some of us still have work. Did we ever decide sleeping arrangements?” Melissa asked.

“Derek can sleep in my room.” Stiles piped up. They still hadn’t told them that Derek doesn’t really sleep.

“Derek can sleep on the air mattress in your room.” His dad leveled him with his best Sheriff look.

“Okay, sheesh, Derek will sleep on the air mattress.” Stiles agreed.

Melissa took Allison up to the guest room with Scott trailing like a puppy behind them. Derek politely excused himself to transfer the small amount of stuff he had accumulated over the past month into Stiles’s room.

His dad was still sitting at the table, staring despondently into his now cold cup of coffee. He looked exhausted and Stiles instantly felt guilty.

“Crazy month, huh?” Stiles tried.

He laughed lightly, “I think I would have been content never knowing about the greater powers at work.”

“Well, you know me, when have I ever done sometime the normal way? I can’t even get Wishes right. Michael though, that’s all on you. You and Melissa have two prime example of you parenting. Honestly, you should have known to curb that kid’s hyperactivity and endless loyalty to his family.”

“You boys do keep life interesting.” The Sheriff shook his head.

“Knew you kept us around for a reason.” Stiles grinned and headed upstairs.

Derek was standing by the window, staring up at the night sky.

“What’s got you down, gloomygus?” Stiles wrapped his arms around Derek’s middle. He repressed his instinct to shiver, he knew Derek was self-conscious about his temperature.

Derek didn’t say anything, but one of his hands knitted with one of Stiles’s.

“Start with small words, you can do it.” Stiles prompted. He leaned into Derek’s back, trying to subtly inhale as much of Derek’s non-scent as he could. It was mostly laundry detergent and dust, but it was still his own. Derek’s shoulders flexed backwards, reacting to the movement. Stiles felt the muscles bunch under his forehead.

“Nervous.” Derek started slow, “I don’t know what she’s going to do when she finds out what I am, if she doesn’t already know. Worried, that someone will figure it out and take me away from you. Jealous, because I don’t want to share any of you will her. Scared, that you will all like her better because she’s a real star.” Stiles tightened his grip.

“Firstly, Allison seems nice and at the very least reasonable. I’m sure it will be fine and if it’s not my dad can give her a stern talking to. Secondly, we’re not going to let that happen. No chance. Three, you make like the best food ever so you already have Dad and Michael on your side. And me, but that’s for different reasons. And D, so what if she has a more sparkle in her eyes? I like you.”

“You used number and letters.”

“Wow, that’s what you took away from that? Never going to use motivational speeches on you again.” Stiles snorted.

Derek turned in his arms and bumped noses with him, “Thanks.”

“Oh my god, we are super adorable. We could be even more adorable in my bed, preferably making out, if you tell me what else is bothering you.” Stiles fixed him with a serious look.

“It’s stupid.” Derek’s eyebrows scrunched.

“Have you met me? You know how my brain works. You know my mouth. Stop thinking about my mouth, I’m trying to be serious here.”

“Michael’s Wish, Allison falling, it caused a global reaction. International efforts are being made to explain the disappearance of a star, every fool with a telescope is coming up with theories...” Derek trailed off but Stiles had heard enough to connect the dots.

“…and you fell twelve years ago and nobody noticed.” Stiles finished.

“I told you, it’s stupid. It makes complete sense, no one notices the absence of the absence of light.”

“Hold that thought.” Stiles let go and dashed across the room to his computer. Derek trailed behind, a little lost.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Google-fu, young padewan.” Stiles threw a rakish grin over his shoulder, “Sit back and watch a Master at work.”

“That sounded like a real sentence, but none of that actually made sense.”

Stiles groaned, “We have got to work on your pop culture knowledge. Less dictionaries, more Harrison Ford. You just think no one noticed. But there are millions of people in the world, odds are someone saw something. Or the lack of something.”

Derek made a noncommittal noise. Well, that was practically a challenge.

 

“Stiles, it’s not a school night but you should probably go to sleep.”

“Huh?” Stiles turned to look at Derek who was not standing behind him but had magically teleported to the bed. “Did you use your ninja-ex-star speed again?”

“Stiles, it’s been three hours.” Derek looked concerned.

“Oh.” Stiles glanced at a clock, “Right. ADHD, Adderall, you know the drill. But I’m really close!”

Derek sighed exasperatedly, “Fifteen minutes and I will literally drag you to bed.”

“I’ll only need ten.” Stiles shot back, “And you can still totally manhandle me to bed.”

He actually only needed seven.

“Got it!” he cried triumphantly.

“What is it?” Derek sat up.

“Professor of Astronomy at Lewis and Clarke in Portland Oregon, wrote several papers on the disappearance of a certain black hole but was never published by a journal because they thought he had just misidentified a black hole to begin with. He also wrote a multitude of increasingly frustrated blog posts about how no one believed him. But he was right. He was totally fucking right.”

“What’s his name?” Derek asked from suddenly right next to him. Stiles jumped. Damn ninja-ex-star skills.

“David Hale.”

“I want to meet him.”

Stiles turned to see Derek’s face.

“Okay. Let’s do it.”

~~~~~

The Sheriff let them go without much fuss.

By nine the next morning they were loading snacks and backpacks in the Jeep and making sure they had a full tank of gas.

“Be careful on the road, don’t pick up hitchhikers, don’t let Stiles listen to music you don’t like. He can suck it up.” Melissa advised from the doorframe.

“Aw come on, we’ll be fine.” Stiles said, distracted while trying to balance a bag and a case of Red Bull. Derek took it off his hands and subtly handed it back to Melissa to hide far, far away. He had seen Stiles drink Red Bull once and resolved never to see it ever again.

“I’ll keep him out of trouble.” Derek nodded to Melissa and slid into the passenger seat.

 

“Are you ready?” Stiles asked with a grin, turning the key.

Derek snagged one of his hands and squeezed it lightly, “Yes.”

He was ready when they exited Beacon Hills and merged onto the highway.

He was ready when Stiles played air drums on the steering wheel with both hands which was definitely not prescribed road safety.

He was ready when Stiles held one of his hands and let him trace the freckles on the back of it with his thumb.

He was ready when they turned off and arrived in Portland, even though Stiles exited without slowing down much.

He was ready when they got to the college and parked and walked over, Stiles practically growling and anyone who check them out.

But now, standing in front of the office with the little placard that said ‘Dr. David Hale, Professor of Astronomy”, he was suddenly not ready.

“What if he tells everyone?” Derek hesitated.

“Dude, we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. But I don’t think he will. I think he’ll be happy just knowing you exist and he’s not crazy.”

“Okay.”

He knocked.

The door opened.

The man before them had frizzy dark brown hair that stuck up at odd angles and a pair of glasses at a slightly skewed angle. Besides that he was decently dressed, perhaps the cardigan he was wearing had seen a few too many washes, but the button down and slacks made him the image of an overworked professor.

“You two look too old and too young to be a student of mine. But not many students visit me, so you might as well come in. What can I do you for?” Dr. Hale beckoned and onto the off-green loveseat wedged in the small office. Papers and charts and books filled cabinets and stacked on tables. The only clear room was the couch and a small area around the computer.

“We’re interested in your work with HD 58061.” Stiles folded his hands on his knees.

Dr. Hale paused, “How did you know I worked with VY Canis Majoris? I’ve never published anything on the topic.”

“I follow your blog.” Stiles said hesitantly.

Dr. Hale sat heavily in his desk chair, letting out a pained chuckle, “You’re not journalism students are you? Trying to get a scoop? ‘How to lose all respect of the scientific community on one easy step and 20 years of work’. I can see it now.”

“Not at all,” Derek broke in, “We were just curious about any information you had, HD 58061 wasn’t very well studied. Why did you pick HD 58061?”

“Well I discovered it when I was an undergrad working in a research lab at Caltech. The HD refers to Hale, David.  Black holes are difficult to discover, you have to be very well trained, or in my case, very very lucky. After that, it was just… captivating. Black holes are an incredible phenomenon with extreme power, but no documented cases quite like Canis, if my calculations were correct. You see, Canis hadn’t reached the end of it’s lifespan when it went supernova. I was never able to determine the cause, it vanished before I could really dig in. But while it was there… black holes aren’t as pretty as stars, not flashy or shiny, but they are mysterious and deadly. Have you ever come across something that from the second you see it you are interested? And then once you find out more you care just left with more questions? That was what HD 58061 was to me, it was my work and my discovery.”

“Yeah.” Stiles said softly.

If Derek could blush he would be blushing, “Do you have any new conclusions you might have drawn in light of the disappearance of Proxima Centauri.”

“Ahh, Proxima Centauri and the race to find out what happened. Whoever discovers the cause of a disappearance of a star will go down in the history books, but they are all going to discover the same thing I found in the last twelve years.”

“And that is?” Stiles was practically on the edge of his seat.

“Nothing. It was there one day, gone the next, with no reason or rhyme or explanation. Just poof,” he wiggled his hands, “vanished.”

Stiles and Derek exchanged a look.

Derek made up his mind.

“I know what happened.”

Dr. Hale raised a judgemental eyebrow, “Oh really?”

“If I tell you, you have to swear to never tell another soul. The ramifications of this getting out is beyond your knowledge.”

“You also have to suspend your disbelief. This is going to sound crazy, but you’ll need to hear us out.” Stiles interjected.

“I have a PhD and have not been able to find the solution in twelve years. I am pretty much ready to accept anything. Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

“Arthur Conen Doyle.” Derek supplied.

Dr. Hale looked a shade surprised, “Very good.”

“This is still going to sound impossible.” Derek took a breath, “VY Canis Majoris used to be a star, a red hyper giant in fact. It existed in a constellation until it went supernova and destroyed the stars nearby.”

Dr. Hale’s eyes lit up, “That’s not actually true, I found remnants that suggest—“

“That the other stars in the area were actually wiped out by an asteroid belt hundreds of years before it exploded.” Derek interrupted.

He froze, “How on earth did you know that? I’ve never conclusively written that down.”

“Because,” Derek started, Stiles leaned into his shoulder to offer his support, “There are powers at work in the Universe you don’t understand and I can’t explain to you, but I wanted you to know that you’re not crazy. It was real and then it did disappear. It was me, I was it. I fell out of the sky twelve years ago.”

“And then took a long ass time getting here.” Stile joked.

Dr. Hale stared at him for a long time, until it was quite unnerving. Then he started smiling and laughed sharply.

“Oh Christ, you are, aren’t you? Of course you fucking are.”

Derek blinked, “Just like that?”

“Just like that,” Dr. Hale leaned forward in his chair, “I studied Canis for years, I know my block hole when I see it. It’s an honour to meet you.” He stuck out his hand.

Derek automatically shook it, still a bit in shock.

“Nice to meet you too.” 

 

They talked for two hours about astronomy and life, Dr. Hale gracefully backing off whenever Derek gave any hint of being uncomfortable. Stiles would throw in comments and jokes that kept the discussion light.

Dr. Hale stopped them at the door as they were about the leave, “I must apologise, but I don’t believe you ever gave me your name at the beginning and I feel quite silly letting you leave without knowing it.”

“Derek.” He supplied, “and if it was alright with you, I would like to share your last name. You did discover me on this planet.”

Dr. Hale beamed, “Nothing would make me happier.”

“And you’re not going to tell anyone about all this, right?” Stiles hefted his bag onto his shoulder.

“Have no fear, I wouldn’t do that. Have a safe journey.”

“Dude, he was awesome!” Stiles grinned when they were outside the building and walking to the car.

“He was.” Derek ducked his head to smile.

“Derek Hale, huh? Got to admit, there is a ring to it. Not quite as nice a Derek Stilinski-Hale, but we’ll work on it.” Stiles smirked.

Derek shoved at his shoulder.

“Hey!” Stiles squawked, “Aren’t you supposed to look after my every whim or something?”

“Should start carrying you everywhere so as not to bother your dainty feet?”

Stiles eyes him up and down, “Usually my extreme manliness stops me from requesting princess carries, but in your case I would make an exception.”

Derek settled for just holding his hand but it still made Stiles shut up.

Which just made the day that much better.

Chapter Text

Time passes, indistinctly.

Derek marks it in warm meals and loud movies and sleepy kisses as Stiles rolls out of bed to go to school before the sun it even up.

He marks it in nights spent curled up on the air mattress on Stiles’s floor, so they wouldn’t make liars out of themselves.

He marks it in Friday night’s spent on cold bleachers, less cold to him, cheering on Stiles and Scott.

He tries not to mark it in anxious Sundays asking Stiles if he decided on his Wish.

Instead he concentrates on happy Monday mornings and the confidence that he has another week with his… family.

Allison and Scott grow closer and closer, even though to do so is dangerous.

Stiles mimicked gagging whenever they were near. He teased the way they looked at each other, puppy love, he said.

Derek shrugged and said he could not fault Allison for something he himself was doing.

Yet it was dangerous.

Because Allison had to go back, she was the agent of a specific Wish, to find Scott a person like Stiles had Derek. Scott tried to insist that she could be that person, but she always shook her head with tears in her eyes.

She had a place in the Universe.

She had her parents to go back to.

She had thousands of years of burning left to do.

Not like Derek, who didn’t have a family or light, who only had darkness to return to.

So they tried, Scott digging in his heels the entire time.

Scott and Stiles and Allison and Derek would walk around town, pointing out people they thought Scott might like.

He always looked, always attempted conversation, but in the end he always shook his head and said they weren’t Allison.

It was Allison who found her, the new girl whose father started teaching History at their school. The girl with a cute laugh and a warm heart and deep loyalty to the people she cared about.

Scott tried to protest but Stiles said he could see the blush in his cheeks and how his eyes followed her around the classroom.

Scott asked her out on a Monday, she said yes before he finished the sentence.

Allison left on Wednesday.

The Sheriff and Melissa took off work and they all sat down for dinner one last time.

Stiles was there every second with jokes and stories, making the night a celebration not a mourning.

The moon was full when she stepped out into the back yard, barefoot in the grass.

“Thank you for having me here, I’m never going to forget this.” Allison smiled, but her eyes were watery.

The Sheriff nodded from where he and Melissa were standing together, arms around each other, within the sliding door.

Allison turned to Scott, “And I’m never going to forget you. Have a wonderful life Scott McCall.” She kissed his cheek and wrapped her arms around him.

“Stiles, Derek, I wish you both the best.” Allison addressed them after she untangled from Scott. She took a deep breath and turned to face Michael.

“Michael Stilinski-McCall, have I fulfilled your Wish?”

“Yes, thank you Allison.”

She smiled one last time, turning her face up to the night sky.

There was a bright flash of light, bright enough it had Derek shutting his eyes and turning Stiles into his chest.

When he blinked his eyes open again she was gone.

They all stood in silence for a second until Scott turned and walked briskly upstairs, Derek could hear his door slam from outside.

Stiles took his hand and tugged it, pulling them both inside and upstairs, safe within Stiles’s room.

They fell together, tangling limbs and tucking heads over-under one another.

“Would it be like that, if it was you?” Stiles asked, softly.

“I don’t know. I’m not a star.”

Because he didn’t know, he didn’t know what would happen if Stiles ever used his Wish.

He didn’t want to think about what it would be like to return to the dark and the cold without the warm boy next to him with the amber eyes and skin filled with constellations.

“I don’t want you to go, I want you to stay with me, for as long as possible.”

The words were on the tip of his tongue, how much he loved him, how he would give him forever if Stiles would keep him that long. But he couldn’t say that, because someday Stiles might need a Wish and Derek would never want to cause him more pain.

So he said nothing.

Just tightened his arms, enough to feel the thrum of Stiles’s heart under his palms.

Alive. Safe. Here.

Stiles turned and kissed him, soft lips turning harsh and unyielding.

“Please, please Derek.” Stiles panted, tugging on his belt, “I don’t want to wait, I don’t want something to happen and not—“

“Okay, okay.” Derek covered Stiles’s mouth with his own and rolled them over.

Derek tried to show Stiles everything he couldn’t say.

He kissed down his sternum, connected freckles and made Stiles gasp.

I love you.          

He gripped tight to Stiles’s hips, bit marks onto his neck and made Stiles come.

Never leave me.

He curled Stiles tight against himself, pulled blankets over to trap some heat and let Stiles sleep.

I don’t know what to be without you anymore.

 

In the morning the paper had shocked headlines about the return of Proxima Centauri.

Scientists were baffled.

Derek turned the paper over so he didn’t have to look at it anymore.

Stiles caught the movement and gave him a wry smile over the edge of his coffee cup, hair mussed up from sleep and the night before.

I love you.

Never leave me.

I don’t know what to be without you anymore.

He said nothing.

 

Everything fell apart a few weeks later on a Thursday.

Stiles had gotten home from school complaining about his sprained wrist keeping him from lacrosse practice and how Scott got to practice and needed to drive the Jeep back so Stiles had to take the bus.

Everyone was at school or work so they made out on the couch for a bit just because they could.

They were watching some show on TV when the doorbell rang.

“Go get it.” Stiles poked him in the side with fingers covered in Dorito dust.

“Gross.” Derek grabbed his hands, “You get it, your house.”

“Please, Melissa already adopted you. Pretty sure she likes you more than me.” Stiles started cleaning his fingers by sucking them wetly into his mouth.

“That’s because I actually wash dishes.” Derek said on the way to the door. At the very least he had to get away from the obscene sight Stiles was.

He opened to the door to a man in a police uniform.

“Can I help you? The Sheriff isn’t here…”

“Yes, I know.” The officer looked odd, “Is Stiles here? I need to talk to him.”

“No.”

It was Stiles’s voice, low and broken.

Derek whipped around, Stiles was standing a few steps behind him, fear written on every inch of his face.

“He’s alive, he’s alive, Stiles.” The officer reassured him.

Stiles was breathing fast, “What happened?”

“Domestic call, the man was drunk, you dad was shot but he was alive when the ambulances got there. I came straight here to get you and bring you to the hospital. Melissa called Scott and he’s on his way there. Stiles?”

Stiles’s eyes were unfocused and he wasn’t moving. Derek grabbed his face in both hands, Stiles’s heart was pounding.

“Stiles, look at me Stiles. Everything is going to be okay. You need to calm down because you can’t do anything if you’re panicking. Right now we need to go to the hospital, that’s what you have to do right now, everything else we’ll figure out when we get there. Alright?” Derek met his eyes.

“Okay, okay.” Stiles breathed out. He nodded shakily, “Let’s go.”

 

The tick-tick-tick of the wall clock in the white washed waiting room made Derek feel like he was too large in his own skin, like there was something sprinting towards him that no matter how he tried he couldn’t dodge it. Scott was there, holding Stiles’s other hand. Melissa had caught them an hour before hand and hugged all three before rushing off again.

Stiles’s wasn’t talking.

Everything Derek knew was tilting on its axis and Stiles was silent.

Tick-tick-tick

Itsover-itsover-itsover.

A doctor walked over to them.

In surgery, punctured lung, blood loss, pre-existing heart condition, fractured, complications.

It’s not looking good.

The doctor shook his head sadly. Like he was commenting on the weather.

Oh my, looks like rain today.

Oh my, might lose your last remaining biological relative.

Stiles looked up, face grey.

“Can I see him?”

Yes, nodding, Melissa is already with him, I can take you.

Then Stiles was gone and Derek felt empty.

Because he knew what came next.

He looked over at Scott, who, for all his innocence and naïveté, seemed like he understood exactly.

“I know.” Derek said softly, curling his fists in an effort to erase the feeling of Stiles’s hand in his.

“He’s going to be torn, this is Stiles’s worse nightmare.” Scott replied.

“He’ll have to, it’s the right choice.” Derek knew it with every particle of his being, he was here to make Stiles happy. No matter how unhappy it made himself.

“This is going to hurt him.” Scott warned.

Derek practically snarled, “This is going to hurt him? This is going to hurt me! Stiles has known me for a few months, I’ve known Stiles for twelve years. I travelled through the darkness of space and watched him grow up, the first light in decades. Now I’ll never see him again. Don’t talk to me about loss.”

“It had to happen at some point.”

Perhaps, but Derek would have preferred some point when they were eighty.

He stood up, and went to find Stiles one last time.

 

He found him sitting on the ground outside a room, knees curled close to his body, tears drying on the edge of his shirt.

“Stiles.”

“He’s unresponsive. Hooked up to a machine that breathes for him.” Stiles stared at the floor.

“Stiles.”

“We watched as my mom died, wasted away slowly in a hospital. He wouldn’t want this.”

“Stiles, look at me.”

Stiles looked up.

“Mieczyslaw Stilinski, it’s time to use your Wish.”

“No, no.” Stiles was suddenly on his feet, shaking his head, “If I do that then you’re gone, Derek. Derek.

And then Stiles was in his arms, sobs wracking his chest.

“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Derek rubbed Stiles’s back, trying to steal any last heat he could. It would be the last in a long time.

“No, it’s not okay.” Stiles growled into his collarbone, “How can you just accept this.”

“Because it was always going to be like this. You were always going to use your Wish. It’s fate Stiles, it’s how the Universe works.” He felt calm, because everything he was saying was true.

“I didn’t want to!” Stiles protested, “I wanted to keep you forever. I wanted to eat the food that you make, I wanted to go to college and get a job and buy a house, and I wanted to wake up next to you for the rest of my life.”

Derek closed his eyes, “I know, I want that too, but how would it work? I’m made of star dust and darkness, that’s all I am and that’s all I can ever be. I am here to make you happy, to fulfil your Wish, and now I have to do so.”

“But I love you.” Stiles choked out.

Derek was suddenly grateful of the physical limitations of his body, “And you love your father.”

Stiles gripped him tighter, “I don’t want you to leave me.”

“I don’t want to leave you. But I have to. Because you can’t do this to your family Stiles.”

“What?” Stiles pulled back to look him in the eyes.

“You know the pain of losing a parent and then growing up without them.” Derek paused to let it sink in, “Stiles, Michael needs his father. Melissa needs her husband. You and Scott, you need him too. Fuck, Stiles, this entire town needs him.”

The realization was dawning across Stiles’s face, harsh and painful.

“I’ll never stop needing you.” Stiles whispered.

“And I’ll never stop loving you.” Derek closed the distance, gently kissing him, “Mieczyslaw Stilinski, have you decided on your Wish?”

“I Wish for my father to be healed of his current and pre-existing wounds, to survive this and live well into old age.” Stiles said, the gravity of his Wish coursing through his voice. Derek closed his eyes.

The power of the Universe flooded Derek’s body, whipping through his cold stone bones and zipping along his fingertips. He could see in his mind’s eye the Sheriff, bandaged and broken in a hospital bed a wall away from him. He felt the flow, from the omniscient Universe to him to the Sheriff. Muscles knitted, ligaments reattached, veins patched and started flowing blood, his heart pumped healthily, clear of its old-standing ailment.

His lungs inflated.

One wall away, Sheriff Stilinski took a breath by himself.

Derek’s eyes flew open, darkness spilling out of them.

Stiles gasped upon seeing the one thing Derek had tried to keep hidden, the greatest reveal of his true nature.

“He’s healed. Mieczyslaw Stilinski, have I fulfilled your Wish?” Derek could feel the tug, the pull of the stars and the sky.

“I love you.”

He took that as a yes.

Derek stepped back, out of Stiles’s reach. He was tingling, it felt like every carefully constructed atom of himself was bring ripped apart. He was simply dissolving into nothingness.

He looked up, heart in his throat.

Stiles looked like heartbreak.

His conscious started fading.

He wondered if the papers would write about this too, Local Honoured Sheriff Makes Miraculous Recovery. Loving Family Rejoices.

It would be a story people would talk about, relate to.

Much better than the confusions of stars.

Stiles was crying.

No, don’t cry. It’s okay.

Darkness edged over his vision.

He couldn’t feel anything anymore.

Just cold.

I love you.

 

 

 

 

~~~

 

 

 

 

The Universe doesn’t work in strange ways.

It’s honestly quite predictable.

The Universe isn’t benevolent.

The Universe isn’t malevolent.

At best it’s… ambivalent.

Maybe if the cosmos was smaller, maybe if each self-obsessed planet really was the only one to carry life cognisant enough to question the Universe, it would care more.

But it doesn’t.

Which is not to say that the Universe doesn’t care at all.

That is hardly the case.

See, the Universe has a weakness.

The Universe loves new things, new creations, new life.

It likes potential, things that are different and interesting, things that don’t do stuff the same way it’s always been done.

That affection, at its core, it what keeps the Universe spinning, moving, stretching eons and generations without tiring, without giving up.

The Universe wants odd things, fascinating things to survive, to strive, to evolve the Universe into something better.

 

The Universe is the only thing tying all the planets together, it is the nothingness between everything, it is the vast unknown darkness stretching on forever, and it is in each breath taken of all living things calmly, unobtrusively, filling the spaces between molecules and atoms.

The Universe is the wonderment you feel when you stare into the night sky and the small feeling you get when you realize no one could count all the stars.

It’s basis of all pure emotions, like joy and fear and hope and of course, love.

The Universe is what you wish upon when all the made-up gods and goddesses fail you.

And if you scream and cry and pound your fists and demand with all your heart, the Universe pauses.

 

And listens.

 

Most people don’t know the Universe it real.

Most children Wish for small things when they open their windows to let in a summer night breeze and find themselves staring into the sky and hoping and poof, that’s it, that’s all their interaction with the Universe.

So when someone has the gall to stare up at the sky and scream in the Universe’s ear, it can’t help but listen.

But the Universe doesn’t care, once the single Wish is used it cannot be redone or taken back.

Because the Universe is too busy, too full, too large, to care about some one person.

Most children use their first and only Wish for daisy crowns and bubble gum and the Universe is happy to oblige.

But then again some children are not like other children.

Because occasionally, so very rarely, a child looks up and when they start saying “starlight, star bright…” they end up with something much more than a snow day or a trip to the carnival.

When Stiles Stilinski was eighteen years old he called down a star from the heavens and saved the life of his dying father.

He stared into heartbreak, and Wished upon a star.

 

And afterwards, he kept Wishing.

 

And the Universe listened.

 

Because if someone really, truly wants something with only pure intent and longing in their heart.

 

If they hope and pray and Wish with everything they have…

 

 

 

 

 

The Universe gives it back to them.

Chapter Text

“Hello?” Stiles picked up the house phone that had rang for the third time. The first he had yelled for Scott to pick it up, remembered that Scott was out with Kira at the beginning of the second, and actual got up the motivation to unroll himself from his blanket burrito of sadness on the third.

“Hello, can I speak to Stiles Stilinski?” The tinny voice on the other end said.

“Speaking.

“Oh, well, how fortunate. It’s David Hale speaking, the astronomer from—“

“I remember.” Stiles cut in, closing his eyes and leaning tiredly against the wall. It had been three months since… since he had used his Wish and he was still getting over… everything.

“Yes, well, I don’t quite know how to say this but… the black hole, HD 58061, it’s gone.” Hale’s voice was frantic.

“Yes, I know Professor, we talked about it when we last met.” Stiles gritted out.

“No, I mean, detecting black holes is very difficult, it’s hard to find something you can’t see. How we find them is by watching the interactions of stars and planets around them. At the centre of black holes are super dense materials that draw everything towards it, so things in orbit are pulled but not sucked in my black holes. Rather, they are almost sling-shotted around them. Roughly three months ago HD 58061 reappeared, I didn’t call you because… well because I assumed you knew. But today…”

“Dr. Hale, what are you saying?” Stiles had a death grip on the phone, his knees were shaking.

“It’s gone, the stars are passing right through where it used to be. Derek fell.”

Stiles said goodbye and thank you on autopilot and hung up the phone before slowly sliding to the cool wood floor below him. His breaths came in fits and gasps.

Derek fell.

Derek was coming back to him.

 

~~~~

 

“You would think someone who just graduated second in their class would be a bit more excited at the best graduation party in Beacon Hills.”

Stiles glanced up from where he was laying on the grass. Strawberry blond curls dangled above him.

“Hey Lydia.”

“No stutter, no blushing, no complements? Did Jackson threaten your dick or something?”

“Maybe I’m just over you.” Stiles shrugged as well as he could.

“Impossible, when Stiles Stilinski falls for someone he falls hard and falls forever.” Her words were teasing but her face was soft. “Come on, let’s refill that drink. College is a big place and I need someone to carry my bags when I go shopping.”

“Yes ma’am.” Stiles said with a grin and let Lydia lead him back to the party with a perfectly manicured hand.

 

~~~~

 

“Stiles, go out with us! It will be fun!” Trey complained.

“No thanks Trey, really not the partying kind.” Stiles felt like bashing his head into his textbook, his roommate was starting to seriously piss him off.

“Come on Stiles, you never go out.” Angela added, Trey’s girlfriend.

“There are two reasons to go out,” Stiles swivelled in his chair and ticked off his fingers, “To go get drunk, and to go talk to potential significant others. I have a paper due tomorrow and am in a relationship. Have fun without me.”

“You always talk about this mysterious boyfriend of yours, but we’ve never see him. What’s with that?” Angela pouted.

“It’s long distance.” Stiles grumbled.

“So long you can never visit each other, and can’t call or text each other?” Trey raised an eyebrow, “I know you only talk to Scott, your Dad, and Lydia on the phone.”

“Yes, that fucking far, are you happy?” Stiles gripped his pencil so hard it started to creak.

“How long has it been since you’ve seen him, even talked to him?” Angela was never one to let something go.

“Three years. Now please fucking leave.” Stiles gave in and set his head on the desk.

 

~~~~

 

“I’m so proud of you son.” The Sheriff grabbed his son into a tight embrace.

“Thanks Dad, watch the diploma.” Stiles laughed, “And we all know you’re just excited to brag around the station.”

“I have the right to brag, two of my sons, fancy Stanford graduates.” The Sheriff threw an arm around Scott’s neck.

“Now just four more years of grad school.” Melissa snapped a picture of all of them.

“Ugh, don’t remind me.” Stiles groaned, “I’m glad I’m taking a gap year with Peace Corps.”

“Traveling the world, helping people, it should do you some good. Get your mind of things.”

“That’s the plan Mel, that’s the plan.”

 

~~~~

 

“So… are you dating anyone?”

“Yeah, it’s long distance.”

 

“How come we never talk about your boyfriend, Stiles?”

“It’s a complicated situation.

 

“Where does your boyfriend go to school?”

“He doesn’t. He’s… in the military, overseas.”

“When does he come back?”

“A long time.”

 

“How is a hot guy like you all alone here?”

“I have a boyfriend.”

“Oh yeah, prove it, show me a picture.”

“You know what, fuck off.”

 

“I’m starting to think this boyfriend of yours isn’t real.”

“He’s real, Scott’s met him, Kira met him, he’s really far away, I fucking love him, so stop fucking hitting on me I swear to god I will file for sexual harassment.”

“Wait, come back! Stiles! What about the group project?”

 

“I could set you up with one of my friends, really nice guy.”

“You need to stop talking to me like 10 minutes ago.

“But—“

“Go. The Fuck. Away.”

 

~~~~

 

Stiles dropped his bag on the floor of their apartment.

“I really fucking miss Derek.”

Scott was up in an instant, pulling Stiles into a hug.

“Rough day of class?”

“Grad school sucks, CalTech sucks, my professor invited everyone in our research lab and told us to bring our significant others, the barista wrote her number on the side of my cup. I literally threw away a perfectly good cup of coffee so I wouldn’t tempt myself. Scott, what the hell is wrong with me.”

“How long?”

“Seven.”

“Over half way. And it might be shorter this time, who knows. You can do it.”

“It just sucks.”

“I know, I know. Maybe you just need to get laid. Danny broke up with his boyfriend a couple weeks ago, he would probably be down for your arrangement again.”

“…yeah, okay.”

 

~~~~

 

“A PhD?”

“Back to Stanford I go.” Stiles tried to put some pep into his voice.

“Stiles…”

“Yeah Dad?”

“I just feel like you’re running yourself ragged. You need to take some time, relax.”

“I can’t do that, because if I stop, if I think, I start wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life, how many years and months and days I have spent waiting and how many I have left to go. Because I’ll start thinking about how I can’t really remember what Derek’s voice sounded like and what his hand felt like in mine and how I’m slowly forgetting what his face looked like because no one thought to take one fucking picture. If I stop working I’m going to go fucking crazy, so I’m going to go to Stanford and get a PhD and by the time I get it Derek’s going to be back. Okay?”

“Alright, but call often.”

“Love you Dad.”

“Love you too.”

 

~~~~

 

He stood on the stoop of the townhouse for seconds stretching into minutes. He knew he was he was supposed to knock. Or ring the doorbell.

But he was frozen on the stoop.

Because if he knocked or rang someone would come and open the door and everything would suddenly be real.

Somehow it would be more real than it was right now, him with his brittle calcium bones and pink breakable skin, every piece fitting as it finally, finally should but nothing like he was used to.

He had fallen back into the dark and empty but again he had light and colour as far as his eyes could see, and if he knocked and the door opened he would see Stiles.

Whoever he was now.

He would see him and then what would ensue?

Would he be welcomed inside and treated like an old acquaintance, someone who he knew in high school?

Would he be turned away, no longer needed in his brand new life?

Would Stiles even care?

He reached out, breathe coming short and nervous, real-life heart pounding in his chest.

He knocked.

The door opened.

“Hi, who are you?” A pretty blonde girl opened the door, leaning against it with a comfortable familiarity. Derek felt his gut twist.

“Oh,” he frowned, “I… I’m here to see Stiles.

The girl frowned, “Weird, Stiles didn’t tell me he had any more friends coming over for dinner. I thought everyone was here already. Well, better late than never. Who are you again?” She opened the door and he followed her in.

He gave a faint attempt at a smile, “Derek, Derek Hale.”

She pondered that, “Huh, still unfamiliar. I’m Erica, by the way.”

This was getting very frustrating, he just wanted to see Stiles. He could hear more voices down the hallway, people laughing and talking loudly. Familiarly. Derek ached for the past he couldn’t be part of, all the friends he never met, like this girl. This girl who was potentially dating Stiles. He was about to ask when another voice called.

“Erica, what’s taking so long? Who was at the door?”

Derek recognized the voice.

Scott turned to corner and dropped the glass he was holding.

“Holy shit!”

“Scott.” Derek smiled and took a step towards him. Scott was all grown up, hair cut shorter, arms filling out his shirt, gold wedding band around his finger.

“Holy shit!” Scott said again, taking a step back.

“What the hell?” Erica demanded, “I didn’t let in like a serial killer, right?”

“Scott, Erica, what’s going on? Scott why are you breaking my shit.”

That voice he recognized better than anything in the universe.

“Stiles, Stiles, come here right the fuck now.” Scott yelled.

“What are you—“ Stiles came into view and when he saw Derek his eyes widened and he instantly clapped both hands over his mouth. Derek’s eyes couldn’t stop moving over him, Stiles wasn’t the dorky awkward eighteen year old he left, this Stiles was twenty-eight and let his hair grow out and started wearing clothes that fit him. Derek wanted to grab him and never let him go, wanted to dig his hands into that hair and relearn his body, wanted to touch him so bad it hurt. But he wouldn’t until Stiles said he could.

“I’m sorry it took me so long to get here.” Derek said softly, not trusting himself to say any more.

“Ten. Ten years. How?” Stiles spoke through his hands. Derek wanted to wipe the tears that were starting to form in the corners of Stiles’s eyes.

“Allison helped, leant me strength. I didn’t look at all, didn’t check in because every second slowed me down a month.”

“You’re here now, to stay?” Stiles still had his hands up, holding them so tight the knuckles were white.

“As long all you’ll have me.” Derek tried to give him a reassuring smile.

Then Stiles broke.

Derek suddenly had an armful of sobbing Stiles gripping around his neck like it was the only thing tying him down and kissing him through the tears.

“Forever, Derek I want forever.” Stiles pulled back, laughing wetly.

“Okay, okay Stiles we’ll have forever.” Derek kissed him back as well as he could but Stiles kept breaking off to talk.

“You’re really here, this is real.”

“This is real. I’m here. I can’t believe you waited for me, I hoped but…”

“Of course I fucking waited.”

“What…” Derek got distracted by Stiles’s fucking mouth, “What did you do. During the time.”

“Bachelors at Stanford, Physics and Mathematics. Masters in Astrophysics at CalTech. Getting my PhD. Scott’s a vet. He got married. Kira.” Stiles was getting slowly out of breath.

Derek glanced over, “Congrats Scott.”

“Thanks!” Scott was grinning. Erica was standing there with her mouth wide open and eyebrows high on her face.

“Michael’s 15. Hates high school.” Stiles returned to kissing him.

“Just like his brother.” Derek chuckled.

“You’re warm, wait, oh my god, you’re warm.” Stiles was apparently shocked enough to detach fully.

Derek grabbed his hand, pushing it against his chest. “Feel that?”

“Fuck I missed your muscles too.”

“No idiot, concentrate.”

“Holy fuck, you have a heartbeat. Derek, this is real. I get to keep you.”

“Yeah.”

They shamelessly made out a bit more.

“Okay, not that this isn’t hot, but I am confused as fuck and someone needs to explain what it going on right now.” Erica broke in. Derek glanced around and noticed that all the people he had heard earlier had gathered to see what was going on.

“Right, right.” Stiles took a moment to collect himself and straighten out his shirt. “Guys, this is Derek. He’s my boyfriend.” Stiles grinned up at him and Derek couldn’t help but grin back.

“The boyfriend who’s been in the military for ten years?”

“Wait, Stiles told me he was researching in the Amazon.”

“He told me it was Antarctica!”

“Um, actually all of that is wrong.” Derek slung an arm around Stiles, “I uh, work for the government. The project I was working on was incredibly delicate and of course top secret, which is why Stiles couldn’t talk about it. I’m… an astronaut. I was in space for a very long time but I’m finally back.”

“Why now?” A dark-skinned boy stepped forward and put an around Erica. Derek couldn’t help but relax a bit.

“Well, Stiles wanted me back. He wrote some very stern letters and basically annoyed the crap out of… my boss until they could do nothing but give in. Stiles can be very stubborn, as I’m sure you all know.”

“This has all been great fun, but you all need to leave right now. You can all get to know Derek later. Like a week later.” Stiles’ hand was creeping lower on Derek’s back and he couldn’t find it in himself to stop him.

“I’ll take care of them,” Scott clapped Derek on the back, “Glad to have you home.”

With that, Stiles dragged Derek away, up a flight of stairs and into a bedroom. The second the door closed Stiles was slamming their mouths together, hot and demanding. Quick fingers were traveling up Derek’s sides and pulling his shirt over his head.

“God, I forgot, how could I forget this? I was so scared of forgetting you.”

That brought Derek up short.

“Hold on, wait Stiles, oh fuck, no stop.” Derek grabbed his wrists.

“Why? Why should we stop?”

“It’s been awhile, even more for you than me. You had a life, things have changed, I have so much catching up to do because nothing changed for me. I have a heartbeat now, but I spent the last ten years moving through space, not living. Not changing. I’m still the same, still look the same, still… feel the same.” Derek tipped his forehead against Stiles’.

“I waited Derek, because ten years ago David Hale called me and told me you fell and I literally sat on the floor below the phone for three hours thinking about what I should do. And I decided to wait, and I kept deciding to wait, for ten years, because I love you. I know we didn’t know each other long, but as a good friend told me, when Stiles Stilinski falls he falls hard and forever. Since we met, I couldn’t think about anyone besides you. I knew I would get you back, it was just a matter of time and Wishing.”

Derek wrapped him tight and close and kissed him, because he finally, finally could.

 

Because they had had light years and stars between them and they had finally, finally found their way back to each other.

 

Back to the boy who had Wished so hard he rearranged the Universe.