It starts with a clearing of Stiles’ throat and a dry cough, then his throat starts to feel sore and itchy. In the middle of a pack meeting when he and Lydia are explaining the weaknesses of the latest monster to decide the Beacon Hill is a good place to set up shop, his voice breaks.
“Your balls finally dropped, Stilinski?” Jackson questions with a sneer because becoming a werewolf and reuniting with his love hasn’t reformed him from his douchebag ways. Stiles doesn’t bother to verbally answer him; instead he simply flips Jackson off as he looks over at Derek, hoping that his frown conveys his message. ‘Look at your life, look at your choices, look who the hell you decided to give the bite to.’
Derek frowns back, rolling his eyes and Stiles smiles a bit smug himself, message understood then.
They wrap up the meeting and Stiles means to go home, drink some tea, get a good night’s rest and nip what is sure to be a cold in the bud, hey, he’s an optimist.
On his way home a harpy slams into the hood of his jeep, which is just freaking great. More repairs, his mechanic loves him. There’s a lot of screaming, flailing, trying to remember how to deal with the winged monster, in the end -three days later that is- the harpy is dealt with. He’s gotten maybe ten hours of sleep in those three days, his head is pounding, his body aches, his throat feels like it’s on fire and he just wants to crawl into a hole and die. He has the flu, but of course it can’t just be that, he has to lose his voice too, now he can’t even bitch about having the flu.
The doctor tells him that resting his voice it the best way to get better, no trying to talk. Stiles glares at him, the man doesn’t understand that Stiles talking is his best defense for himself and others, he doesn’t understand that while Stiles loves his friends they are mostly idiots and need him to be the voice of reason.
How can he do that without a voice?
He meets up with the pack at Derek’s place, a postmortem on the harpies.
“Hey, Stiles,” Scott greets him around a mouthful of what looks like a meatball sub. “How was the doctor’s, feeling better?”
Stiles gives him a disgusted look, he’s not a fancy eater, he’s a teenage boy, who’s been known to cram curly fries into his mouth like no tomorrow, but he really doesn’t need to see the half masticated cow rolling around in Scott’s mouth. He opens his mouth to answer when he remembers; letting out an irritated breath he pulls out a sticky note pad and a sharpie, scribbling away before holding it up to Scott’s face.
“Dude, you can’t talk?” Scott questions with an amused smile. “This must be killing you.”
Stiles gives his best friend his most withering glare and doesn’t feel bad, not even when Scott turns on his stupid puppy dog eyes.
“What did you say, McCall?” Jackson calls out as he comes into the living room, a sandwich in his hand too. “Stiles can’t talk? Has Christmas come early?”
Stiles slightly forgives Scott for his previous comment at the growl he throws Jackson’s way, he starts to write on another sticky note, this time holding it up for Jackson to read, a challenging smirk on his face when Jackson snarls.
His kanima days are still a sore subject for Jackson and Stiles isn’t ashamed to use it against the asshole.
“What’s going on?” Derek questions, his face stern as he comes down the spiral staircase, Isaac close behind.
“Jackson’s being a dick,” Scott shares before Jackson can open his mouth.
“What else is new?” Isaac questions, his eyes flashing yellow at the boy in question when Jackson gives him a hard look.
“Stop it,” Derek tells Isaac even as he looks at the whole room.
Isaac shrugs as he walks over and sits next to Stiles, wrinkling his nose at him. “You smell sick.”
Stiles rolls his eyes, werewolves and their stupid sensitive noses, he holds up the first note he wrote for Isaac to read, waiting for the snide remark, surprised at what he gets instead. “Laryngitis? That sucks, I’ve had it before, your throat hurt really bad?”
Stiles nods, raising an eyebrow as Isaac reaches out and touches him, black veins appearing on his hand as he does and the pain stops some. “I can’t cure you but I can take some of the pain,” Isaac explains with a happy smile. “Better?”
He writes another note.
Isaac nods, giving Stiles another smile, an almost shy one and Stiles wants nothing more than to ruffle his curly hair so he does, earning himself a shake of his head even as the smile remains. “I’ll get you ice, it helps.”
He holds up the thank you note again before finding Derek’s gaze, he finds the man staring at him intently.
‘What?’ he mouths at him.
Derek shakes his head. “Nothing, let’s get started.”
The ice helps some but not much because he likes to chew the ice instead of sucking on it like Isaac told him to, that comment earned him a lewd comment from Jackson that ended when Derek starts barking at the boy, luckily it ended when Lydia walked into the meeting.
Now, days later he isn’t any better, he’s had to put up with just about everyone making jokes about his situation being a vacation for their ears and he has sticky notes everywhere. He’s starting to feel sorry for himself and that’s the kind of thing that is done in the privacy of one’s bedroom so it makes perfect sense that the resident alpha would show up, crawling through his window like the creeper he is.
Stiles gives Derek a half-hearted wave.
“Still no voice huh?” Derek questions as he comes to sit down next to him on the bed.
Stiles can’t help the bitch face he give Derek, he just can’t. He can’t take one more person making a joke out of his misery.
“Hey,” Derek frowns, raising his hands in peace. “What’s that look for, what did I say?”
Derek’s brow is furrowed deeper as he looks at the sticky. “What the hell does that mean?”
Stiles glares at Derek. “Everyone is happy,” he rasps out, his voice almost nothing, but he knows Derek can hear him. “My misery is a big joke, finally I’m silent.”
Derek looks angry now as he looks that him. “Have I once, since you got sick made a joke about you not being able talk? Have I at any moment expressed joy because you’re in pain? Am I really that much of a dick in your eyes, Stiles?”
Stiles looks away from Derek feeling guilty, because no, not once has Derek made a joke out of him being sick, he’s just quietly stared at Stiles, keeping his eyes on him as much as possible, looking back Stiles realizes that it’s been with concern, Derek has been concern. For him.
“Sorry,” he whispers still not looking at Derek, his throat throbbing after that small bit of talking.
He hears Derek let out a sigh before he feels Derek’s hand on the back on his neck and then the werewolf mojo starts, because the pain leaves him.
He holds up his thank you note.
Derek nods and they sit there silently, Derek’s warm hand still cupping Stiles neck, his thumb moving back and forth over his skin. Stiles holds his breath, as his heart picks up at the touch.
“It’s actually really weird not hearing you talk,” Derek tells him after a moment and Stiles looks back at him. Derek is looking fiercely at his lap. “I don’t like it; it’s disconcerting not to hear your voice.”
Stiles knows he’s staring with his mouth open, but he can’t help it, because Derek is basically telling him he misses his voice and he’s still touching him, caressing him. Derek looks at him from under his eyelashes and Stiles’ heart skips, his stomach clenching in anticipation.
“I don’t like seeing you in pain,” Derek whispers now closer. “I’ve realized that I hate it, I really hate it.”
‘Just the flu’ he mouths.
“Still hate it,” Derek answers even closer.
Stiles shakes his head when Derek’s face is inches away. ‘Will get you sick.’
“Werewolf,” Derek murmurs as his lips brush Stiles. “Can’t get the flu, can’t get sick.”
Stiles closes his eyes as Derek kisses him, his lips softer then Stiles expect and a bit dry. Derek teases him with feather-light touches before pulling Stiles bottom lip into his mouth, sucking on it. Stiles hear a whine and goes red when he realizes it came from him.
“Hmm,” Derek hums approvingly into his mouth. “I want to hear that and more.”
Stiles nods more than onboard.
“But not now,” Derek says pulling away, pushing Stiles back on to the bed. “You should rest, you’ll get better faster.”
Stiles holds on to Derek’s arm when he moves to stand, staring into Derek’s eyes, he doesn’t try to speak, he doesn’t mouth anything, he doesn’t reach for his sticky notes, but Derek understands his silent request anyway.
Removing his jacket and shoes, Derek slides in next to him and pulls Stiles flush against him, back to front.
“Rest, Stiles,” Derek says softly into his ear, pressing a kiss behind it. “I don’t want to go much longer without hearing your voice.”
Stiles smiles as he closes his eyes, realizing now how much he needed someone to say that to him.
When he wakes up a few hours later he’s alone, but next to his bed, on the night stand is a couple of boxes of tea, cough drops and a little bear of honey, on top of it lays a sticky note with a strong handwriting, looking down at it Stiles grins widely.
With incentive like that…