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To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

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Stiles hasn’t slept in… a long time.  A long, long time.  He can’t actually remember the last time he slept peacefully through the entire night.  These days, if he sleeps long enough to wake up screaming and crying, tormented by the memories left to him by the nogitsune, he almost counts that as a win.  Mostly, though, he’s so damn scared of what he’ll see if he lets himself sleep hard enough to dream, that he does the head-bobbing nod-off-wake-up thing that people do when traveling in cars driven by people whose driving ability they don’t trust.


So when he’s over at Derek’s, sitting next to Lydia on the couch while the three of them pour over old-ass journals trying to find any mention of whatever the fuck the three-eyed tentacle monster is that’s terrorizing the town this week, he doesn’t even bother making a pot of coffee.  It’s not like he’s going to fall asleep, right?


And if he does fall asleep, he’s certainly not going to stay asleep, so.  He’s fine.  He’s got this.  He’ll become one with the googliness of the universe and…


…and wake up on Derek’s couch, body absolutely incapable of movement, face half-numb from how hard he’d been sleeping.  


The sun is cutting through the wall of windows from a high enough vantage point that Stiles just knows without even moving toward his phone that it’s somewhere near late morning.  And considering he doesn’t remember anything after about, oh, eleven o’clock the night before, a thrill of disbelief mingled with exultation sings through Stiles’ veins.  


He slept.


He slept the entire night, with no horrifying dreams, no screaming himself awake, no sudden jolting of last-minute-before-sleep wakefulness.  


It’s while he’s laying there, nearly moved to tears at the fact that he’s finally been able to rest that he realizes he’s, uh… not quite alone.  The whole-body numbness he’d been experiencing wears off just enough for him to realize that while he's definitely on the couch still — where he’d obviously been when he fell asleep — there’s something protecting him from the lumpy sofa cushions.  Something warm and alive, something firm enough to support him but soft enough to keep him from feeling any pain.  Something…


Oh fuck it.  Derek.  It’s Derek.  He fell asleep on Derek.


Hale.


The guy with the claws and the grr and the rwarrr face who’s been looking for a reason to rip his throat out for the past three years.   


And for one bright, shining moment — probably he’s still a little drunk on the headiness of a solid eight plus hours of sleep — Stiles manages to convince himself that he’s going to survive this.  That he’s going to be able to move off the couch and get the fuck out of the loft without waking Derek up.  


It’s a really kind of lovely moment, broken only by the way Derek’s entire body goes all stiff and unyielding before Stiles is flying across the room, ejected from his comfy spot cuddled up to Derek’s chest by what appears to be a knee-jerk reaction on Derek’s part.  


‘S not gonna save his face when it smashes through the wall, but hey.  He gets it.  He does.  He doesn’t even blame Derek… much.


But then somehow Derek is there, grabbing at him and pulling him back just before his face has an unfortunate encounter with the wall, and there’s a lot of grumbling and grunting and shiftyness on both their parts.  A lot of avoidance of eye-contact too, which is why it takes so long for Stiles to notice that the dark circles beneath Derek’s eyes are…


Well, they’re not gone, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But they’re a lot lighter than he thinks he’s ever seen them.  So maybe….  Maybe he’s not the only one who needed that little nap.


Standing at the open door, ready to make his escape, Stiles turns back to Derek and it just pops out of his mouth.  “Thanks.  I haven’t really slept like that in… just.  Thanks.”


A low, rumbling growl chases him from the loft, but not before he notices how Derek’s ears flush a stupidly adorable shade of pink.



Three days later, Stiles is ready to beg.  Or cry.  Or probably cry while begging.  And not pretty tears, either.  These will be gross, snot-bubbly tears.  


Because all that sleeping he did?  Apparently it woke his body up — hah, pun — to the fact that he requires sleep.  So now that he’s back to not sleeping through the night, his body is all drained and painful and woozy and he’s pretty much completely certain that the only way he’s going to get any sleep is by reconstructing the events of that night.  Specifically: Derek plus couch equals sleep.


So Stiles drags his sorry ass over to the loft, crawls up the stairs, and then leans face-first against Derek’s firmly-locked door while feeling utterly sorry for himself.  Because apparently, judging by how very much Derek is not answering his door, Derek isn’t home.  


Stiles hadn’t even considered that Derek wouldn’t be there.  He’d just… gone.  To Derek.  The giver of sleepy times.


Eyes stinging with tears — brought on by sleep-deprivation, shut up — Stiles reverses course, his exhausted brain nearly convincing him to roll down the stairs instead of walking down them.  On the way, he sends off a brief text to Derek to let him know Stiles had stopped by.  He’s so tired, he doesn’t even really pay attention to the message, just lets his fingers fly across his phone’s keyboard of their own volition.


He gets home.  He’d be way more concerned over the fact that he doesn’t really remember getting home, but he doesn’t have the energy to spare for that level of freak out.  So instead he just gives his Jeep a cursory inspection, checks his phone for any screaming messages from his dad, and figures it’s all good when he doesn’t see any new scratches on his baby or dozens of missed calls on his phone.


When he finally stumbles into his room, he doesn’t even have the energy to jump out of his skin when he finds Derek lurking there like a creeper.  Instead he just moans pitifully and grabs hold of Derek, tugging and whimpering until Derek — looking slightly freaked out — is stretched out on Stiles’ bed like a body pillow taken much too literally.


Stiles face-plants on that chest and welcomes the darkness that engulfs him.



The too-familiar sound of a gun’s hammer being pulled back snaps Stiles back to consciousness some indeterminate amount of time later, and he rolls his gummy eyes around in their sockets until his gaze blearily focuses on his dad.  The sheriff is standing next to his bed, his steely-eyed gaze locked with laser-like focus on something a few inches above Stiles’ head and…


Oh, right. Derek.


Derek Hale.


Of the aforementioned claws and grr and rwarr face.


The guy that Stiles had dragged to his bed for some much-needed sleep.  


Probably Stiles should correct whatever mistaken impression his dad’s freaking out over, but… Well, honestly, now that Stiles has managed to sleep again, his humor is all nicely restored and he’s finding this whole scenario just a little bit hilarious.


Okay, a lot bit hilarious.


Come on.  His dad looks about two heartbeats away from unloading a few rounds in Derek’s face for … what?  Deflowering his innocent son?


Oh, god, this is priceless.  Stiles wants to rewind time and set up video cameras to capture this moment.


But then he sighs because it occurs to him that if his dad shoots Derek in the face, Derek will probably not let Stiles use him as a pillow again ever.  Not that Derek is likely to let Stiles use him as a pillow again anyway, but definitely not if he gets shot for being said pillow.  


“Dad,” he says, and then has to spend a few seconds clearing his throat because whoa, it’s all sleep-scratchy and husky and, ahahaha, sounding a lot like he’d used his throat for something not-so-innocent before passing out on top of Derek.


Hale.


LOL.


Shuffling around, Stiles scrubs a hand over his face, collecting the drool and sleep-crust and other gross shit while trying to get his mostly-boneless body to accept the notion of sitting up.  But nope.  That’s not happening any time soon.


With a sigh, Stiles waves his hand weakly, drawing his dad’s attention, but not succeeding in getting his dad’s service revolver pointed anywhere but at Derek’s face.  Still.  


“Seriously,” he slurs out, his tongue all scuzzy and teeth feeling sticky in his mouth, “stoppit.  As,” a yawn so big and wide that it nearly makes his face crack takes him by surprise, interrupting his attempt at speech.  “As amusing as this is—”


Derek’s chest starts vibrating under his cheek just before a low growl begins to rumble through the room.


“Chris Argent gave me a whole case of wolfsbane rounds,” his dad says, voice all gravel, and he’s not even acknowledging Stiles.  Which.  Rude.


“Oh my god, Dad, what the hell?!  What on earth do you think happened here, anyway?  I still have my fucking hoodie—”


“Language.”


“—on!  I mean, okay, good job, you’ve threatened the big bad wolf on my behalf.  But seriously, Dad, what is this?”  


Derek starts to move under him, but Stiles slaps a hand to his chest at the same time his Dad’s finger moves from the trigger guard to the actual fucking trigger and Stiles begins to rapidly panic that the situation is going to end in tears all around.


“There is a twenty-four year old adult in the bed of a minor while said minor is occupying said bed.  That’s what this is, Stiles.”  And then his dad turns his narrow-eyed look from Derek to Stiles and uh, no.  Just no.


“Hey, no!  You don’t get to do this.”


Derek tries to interrupt with a murmured, “Stiles,” but Stiles cuts him off with a hand over his mouth.  


Which he’s probably going to regret, what with Derek’s renowned rwarr face and all.


“You know what we did last night?  We slept.”  Glancing at his clock, Stiles does a double-take and then lets out a shaky breath.  “For thirteen hours.”  Lifting suddenly watery eyes to his dad, Stiles whispers, “No nightmares.  Thirteen hours with no nightmares.”


His dad’s whole body sags at that, the weight of his gun dragging his limp arm back to his side, and a look of mingled pain and hope flares bright on his weathered face before he looks to Derek for confirmation.


But Derek is stiff as a board under Stiles, prompting him to finally get his muscles and joints working together enough to push him up from where he’d still been sprawled all over Derek’s body.  What he sees is a look of blank shock on Derek’s face, his lips parted just enough to show the tips of his teeth between them.


“Thirteen hours?” he breathes, looking back at Stiles for confirmation.


“Yeah.”


His dad shifts enough to draw even Stiles’ attention then, and he’s looking guilty enough that Stiles just knows, if he had a werewolf nose, he’d smell it rising thick in the air.  “You…”


“I didn’t wake up screaming, Dad.  Not even once.”  Patting Derek, he tries on a grin, and it feels natural for the first time in way too long.  “He’s like, the perfect pillow slash guard dog combination.”


Derek rumbles out an irritated-sounding growl at the dog joke, but the familiarity of that just makes Stiles laugh, loud and bright.  And something about that makes his dad blink back tears before he turns to Derek and points at him with the hand not holding his service revolver.  


“You.   Make arrangements.  You’re staying here for the foreseeable future.”


“But—”


“Don’t argue with me, son,” the sheriff says, breaking into what was sure to be a really riveting argument.  “You need the sleep just as much as he does.”  Stiles’ dad starts to move away, then pauses at the door, his face going through some really painful-looking expressions.  “And if he tries anything, just let me know—”


“Dad, he’s not gonna—”


“That was for Derek, son.  Don’t forget, I’ve met you.”


Stiles’ jaw drops open, a protest forming on his tongue before it dies at the look his dad is directing him.  “Okay, fine.  Fair enough,” he grumbles, holding his hands up.  


When his dad pulls the door shut after one last, pointed look in Stiles’ direction, Derek mutters, “Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you people?”


Stiles laughs so hard at that, Derek sends him flying again… and this time doesn’t bother saving him.