Stiles had felt the migraine slowly working its way up the back of his neck for hours. It had begun shortly after lunch and he’d prayed that it would stay tolerable until 5pm, when he would be able to go home from work. Thankfully it did, but only barely.
The drive home was awful, as the migraine had taken over the right side of his head to a point where it felt like someone was digging a screwdriver into his right temple. He’d started feeling vaguely nauseated in the last hour of work, but now he had to concentrate on keeping the contents of his stomach down.
Upon entering his father’s house, Stiles headed straight into the washing room, dropping his bag and coat along the way. He grabbed the bucket from next to the washing machine, emptied the few dirty rags from it onto the floor, and then made his way into his bedroom as fast as he was able.
He put the bucket on the floor next to the bed and tore off his clothes, before drawing the curtains and crawling into bed. From the drawer on his bedside table he pulled out his migraine pills and a couple of regular painkillers and swallowed them down with a sip of water from a bottle he kept by the bed. He hoped he’d be able to keep them down long enough for them to work.
He turned on his right side and pressed his face into the cold pillow with a sigh of relief. He could feel the sheets turning damp from his sweat, and as the nausea kept roiling in his stomach he couldn’t help but use his leg to jiggle his body a little back and forth. For some reason, it helped. He took big gulps of air, each one cooling him down just a little bit on the way in, exiting on a low, miserable moan. He knew it could be a while before it would get any better; he would either eventually fall asleep as the pills did their work, or he’d find some relief by throwing up. He hoped the pills would be enough.
Suddenly he heard a thump from the window. He’d kept it open to get fresh air in, and the curtains certainly wouldn’t keep anyone out. Sunlight flooded the room as a figure entered through the window and Stiles moaned in pain.
“No, go...go away...” he mumbled into the pillow.
“Stiles, are you ok?” he heard Derek’s voice. Stiles was used to him showing up at his house after all these years. After Stiles had gone off to college and then returned to Beacon Hills to work at the local library, Derek had resumed his regular visits, badgering Stiles to help him with research. Stiles knew Derek and his father were now on friendly terms, so he couldn’t quite understand why Derek still insisted on using the window. Derek had reluctantly mumbled something about it being quicker, one time when Stiles had raged at him for barging in while he was dressed in nothing but a towel, fresh from the shower. Stiles told himself it was probably just a habit. He'd moved back in with his father for a while to save money and he'd be moving into his own place at some point. Probably.
“Not now Derek,” Stiles said, his voice thick and shaky from the lump forming in his throat. Migraines always made him emotional and sensitive.
Derek approached the bed slowly, quietly.
“Stiles, what’s wrong?”
“Migraine, go away.” Stiles was struggling to keep the tears at bay and he didn’t want Derek to see him this way. Stiles might not be the manliest man in Beacon Hills, but he had his pride. Crying from a bit of a headache wasn’t exactly his idea of being a badass.
“Right,” Derek mumbled, drew the curtains back to cover the window, then for some reason he disappeared through the bedroom door. A few moments later he returned.
“What are you doing?” Stiles asked him, his voice slightly steadier. Derek said nothing, but he sat down on the bed by Stiles’s back. Stiles whined as the movement made his stomach roll and the nausea worsened for a moment.
Derek said a quiet “sorry” before pressing something very cold at the back of Stiles’s neck. For a few seconds Stiles didn’t even care what it was or who’d put it there, the feel of the cold was such a relief. Unfortunately it also triggered a fresh wave of emotions and the tears started flowing and his breath turned shaky.
“Shh, it’s ok,” Derek said gently, he lay his free hand on Stiles’s upper arm and lightly rubbed it up and down a few times. Stiles fought to get himself under control.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“Helping you. Just relax, try to get some sleep.” Derek said. His voice unusually quiet and, well, nice.
“What is that?” Stiles could have just turned around and looked. But he didn’t want to even open his eyes.
“It’s some ice, in a bag, wrapped in a towel.”
“Oh.” It was cold, blissfully so, but not too cold. Stiles decided that now was not the time to wonder why Derek was staying, why he was even helping. He just focused on relaxing the muscles of his shoulders and his neck, letting his sore head sink a little further into the pillows, and enjoyed feeling cared for.