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Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire

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“It smells funny in here,” Derek says, turning his head from side to side and staring at his own stubble into Stiles’ bathroom mirror.

Stiles sighs. “It’s the Waterfall Mist,” he explains, rubbing the side of his face in exasperation.

This is so bad. So very, very bad and Isaac is gonna beat his ass. And then Erica and Boyd will beat his ass a little bit more before handing Stiles’ bloody remains over to Deaton and let the veterinary inflict the last blow. He can already hear the words, ‘One place. I told you to stay away from One. Place.’ and blah, blah, blah in an endless sequence of reproaches that won’t change the fact that an Alpha just took Derek’s fucking memories away from him.


“Don’t look at me like that,” Stiles defends himself from Derek’s curious look. “My dad’s taste in air fresheners might be questionable, but they are so not what we need to debate about right now.” The porcelain of the bathtub is uncomfortable and Stiles’ ass is starting to hurt but he can’t bring himself to stand. His head is spinning and there are dark spots doing some kind of weird dance in front of his eyes and- Nope, he doesn’t think he would be able to walk anywhere right now. “So fucked,” he mutters abandoning his head in his hands.

From his spot in front of the sink Derek hums in reply. “My mom uses citrus. It always makes me sneeze.” He gives a last, long look to the black leather jacket hanging off his definitely impressively broad shoulders and then, finally, turns to face Stiles. “Why would we be fucked, uhm, Sti- Steelios?” he frowns.

And this, this is the perfect time for Stiles to start howling in desperation. “It’s Stiles,” he hisses back, finally snapping because hell, of course pre-fire Derek would be the kind of asshole who forgets other people’s name, and of course he would be the kind of careless person who drops personal informations in the middle of a conversations just because it’s mundane.

Stiles really needs to call Scott right the fuck now.

“Also,” he continues as Derek leans back against the sink, crossing his arms and staring at him as if Stiles has just cracked an invisible, verbal whip- Jesus. “We are fucked for a long list of reasons, ‘I’m about to have a stroke’ being at the very top of it, shortly followed by ‘our Alpha has just been robbed of some of his most important memories by some kind of asshole who is also supposedly planning to kill us all’. How does that sound?”

“You are not about to have a stroke,” Derek states, face blank as if Stiles spilling the not-so-secret beans and basically announcing the were-apocalypse didn’t just happen.

“Well, excuse me if you stating the obvious doesn’t exactly brighten up my day!” Stiles exclaims, exasperated, tapping nervously on his phone to finally text Scott and shifting his eyes from the cellphone’s screen to Derek’s far too calm face and back. “What?” he sputters defensively after a while.

Derek shrugs. “It’s not the Waterfall Mist,” he says. Stiles blinks. “It’s you. And pack. Together.” A low, deep sound rises inside Derek’s throat as his eyes turn red.

Only his memories, not his status, something in Stiles’ head purrs. He swallows. “Of course it would- You fucking freak,” he chuckles in relief.

“Stiles,” Derek murmurs, stepping away from the sink and kneeling in front of Stiles, burying his nose against the base of Stiles’ neck, where the skin is thin and the blood rushes so powerfully- Stiles lets him.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you.”

For now, it’s enough.