How beautifull to find a heart that loves you, without asking you for anything, but to be ok
I You fall in love with the little things about someone, like the sound of their laughter and the way their smile forms I
It's better than I ever even knew
They say that the world is built for two
Only worth living if somebody is loving you
Well baby now you do
"Do you ever run out of video games?"
Stiles glanced up, grinning slightly and shaking his head
"Do you ever run out of scowls?"
"That doesn't even make sense,"
"Neither do alot of video games,"
Derek rolled his eyes, walking further into the living room and shaking his head, glancing down at the screen where he could see some sort of warrior woman fighting off against an ogre or an orc something of that vein..
"So wich one is you?"
"Um, Alyssia Of Elderwood obviously,"
"Why are you playing as a girl in a bikini?"
To be fair, Derek hadn't INTENDED to come over and watch Stiles play video games- he had INTENDED to leave for the store to get coffee- but now he was intrigued, so he sat down on the couch behind Stiles, silently wondering why the spark always played video games in the floor like a child but deciding not to ask
"Ok first, it isn't a bikini, it's the only armor I can afford without actually buying any with real money,"
"That sounds objectifying,"
"It is, but alot of these games are- anyway, it's Kira's game, I borrowed it and I decided to be nice and power up her charector for her,"
"You sure it isn't just because you can't figure out how to change charectors?" Derek teased with a smirk, watching in delight as Stiles sputtered and huffed in irritation
"I could change the charector Derek, the question is, could YOU?"
Derek shrugged, leaning back and grabbing a book from the side table, deciding to forego the coffee run for now
"Probably not, I haven't played video games since I was fourteen,"
Stiles frowned, pausing the game and moving to sit on the couch next to him
"Ok, now that's just sad, what's it been? Fifteen years?"
"Stiles I'm only twenty-six," he frowned, eye twitching in irritation as he glanced up from his book
"Ok then twelve years, fine, it's been ages, video games have changed so much since the last time you played Derek, you'll love them!"
"I doubt that, I was never a big fan of video games to begin with," he shrugged back, deciding to go back to his book after all
"That's just because you probably never played any of the good ones, you like Batman right?"
"Yes but I don't care much for fighting games,"
"Then what do you like? Racing games? Adventures? Horror? Don't tell me you're into those visual novel dating games, like the one with the house full of sadistic vampires and you have to decide like.... wich one is LEAST likely to kill you or something? It spawned an anime,"
Derek stared at him, frowning tensely
"I have ZERO idea what you're talking about,"
"Oh huh.... well come on, what kinda game do you like?"
He didn't really want to answer... he didn't really know HOW to answer if he was being honest, it had been so long since he'd even held a video game controller... why was he bothering in the first place?
"Mysteries," he finally said, not looking up from the book he was pretending to read
"Oh really? That's cool, I don't think I really have any mystery games though,"
Derek just shrugged with disinterest, it didn't matter if Stiles had any video games he would like, he was perfectly content to read and listen to Stiles play his, it was ... oddly cathartic, and something he did on a somewhat regular basis
Listening to Stiles grumble and shout in the background, talking to himself mostly, it was ... relaxing
He wasn't going to try to investigate why, either, he was just going to accept it as one of those things that had no explanation
"OH!! I do have one!! But it's a mobile game, not a video game,"
"Stiles it's really fine, I don't ne-"
But it was too late, Stiles had already gotten up and rushed out of the living room, presumably to get something to play the game on
Derek just sighed, shaking his head and trying to concentrate on the book
It didn't matter- it didn't- he wasn't good at video games, wich is why he never liked them, and he could only imagine mobile games were even WORSE considering Derek could only just figure out the cell phone Scott gave him for Christmas
(Wich he was still entirely certain had been Scott's passive aggressive way of forcing him to "Step out of the stone age and get a real phone like the rest of the population"- as per Stiles' words)
When Stiles came back he plopped down next to Derek with enough force to make the couch cushions jump a little, shoving a small tablet in his face and making the werewolf frown with frustration
"What is that?"
"A kindle, e-books are alot cheaper than regular books and there's a bigger variety too, so when I'm not sure if I want to buy something or not I just download a sample of it on ebook or if it's cheap enough buy it digitally before I get it in papperback,"
Derek snorted, holding up his own hardcover book like a trophy and turning the page even though he hadn't read a word of the last one
"Yeah yeah I know real books are better blah blah, anyway, you can get games on this thing, so look what I've got!!"
Derek glanced over, eyebrows raising as he stared at the title of the game that had just appeared on the screen of Stiles' kindle
"'Mystery At Grimby Manor'? Sounds fascinating," He said flatly
"It IS! It's really good believe it or not, here, just try it,"
"I don't-" he paused, sighing lowly
He didn't even know how to work the controllers on an "ereader", how was he supposed to navigate a mystery game?
"Look, it's fine, I'll teach you, just.. tap the screen to start,"
And even now, Derek didn't know WHY he so often indulged Stiles, but he reluctantly put his book down and reached out to gently tap the screen, listening as a little chime went off and the game music changed with the screen
"Ok, good, now to go into the house, you tap the door, then when you get inside, just tap whatever room you want to go into-"
"Is it just tapping?" he frowned, because... ok, that sounded like it might be easy enough...
"Well some of it is swiping but basically yeah, I'll walk you through it, promise," Stiles swore, scooting a little bit closer so that their legs were touching and pushing the kindle a little bit more into Derek's space, waiting on him patiently and grinning from ear to ear when he sighed and finally took the device
"You'll get used to it, and then you'll like it, I promise,"
"You're making an awfull lot of promises, what happens if you're wrong?"
Stiles thought about that for a moment, leaning back and rubbing his neck
"I'll pay for pizza?"
Derek's lips twitched up into a smirk- clearly Stiles knew his weak spots by now
Three hours later Derek was on the last level, Stiles practically bouncing in anticipation as he came to the final puzzle
"Come on big guy you can do it, almost there, one more puzzle, you can figure it out, you're smart, you've got this-"
"Right, shutting up now,"
Derek's nose wrinkled, pursing his lips as he stared at the screen
Apparently you had to turn this weel to get to get the last two peices of the puzzle to align... and if Derek turned it just right....
He felt an odd sort of exhilaration when the weel turned green and the level changed to the congratulations screen
He hadn't felt this odd sort of ... accomplishment.... in a long time....
"Look at that! You did it!!"
Before he knew what was happening Stiles had leaned over, pulling him into a quick, blink-and-you-miss-it congratulatory hug before springing up and running over to the kitchen
"I'm so proud of you I'm paying for pizza anyway, just pepperoni on your's right?"
"Y-Yeah," Derek muttered back, swallowing a bit tensely
"Cool cool, hey do you wanna watch American Horror Story wile we eat? We can binge season three again if you want,"
Derek knew within reason that they were starting something they wouldn't finish, it was already eight o'clock and American Horror Story had thirteen episodes a season but...
"Sure," he agreed, watching Stiles fist pump the air as he grabbed the pizza coupons off of the fridge and slowly reaching over to put the kindle down
Somehow, he could still feel Stiles' touch lingering on his skin....
II All I can do is stand on the curb and say "Sorry about the blood in your mouth, I wish it was mine", I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time II
So tell me when you run, I wanna run with you
Tell me where you hide, I wanna come to you
Tell me where you go, I wanna go there too
Even if you fall I will go down with you
I will be the one who comes to rescue you
Tell me where you go, 'cause I want to be there too
Stiles had never been a runner
He had just never... seen the appeal
He had always been clumsy, klutzy, and never very much someone who enjoyed exercise
Running always made him exhausted, sweaty, out of breath, uncomfortable...
He had never found the peace or the release or the freedom in running that he heard about on TV, that people like Scott probably found from it- although come to think of it Scott had never been all that much of a runner either...
But he couldn't escape it this time
When he woke up in the middle of the night and all he could do was feel the pull of his demons scratching at his skin, hear the nogitsune's voice in his ears and see Donovan's dead body when he closed his eyes, hear Theo's taunts, see Scott's disappointed face....
He had to run away
He had slipped out of the house completely unannounced, put on his shoes as he stepped onto the porch and pulled his jacket on when he started running
He couldn't get away
He couldn't escape
All he wanted to do was just run....
Just run far and fast and until he could get his head settled again, or... until he ran out of breath
And so he ran
And he didn't know how long he had been running for but by the time he finally started feeling the peace sinking into him he was almost at the preserve
He didn't start to feel any sort of silence or contentment come over him until he was too exhausted to think anymore
All he could do was keep going, forcing his legs to keep going until he felt them start to shake, breathing so hard that he was sure his lungs had caught on fire miles ago
But he kept going
Because he knew better
Because he knew if he stopped it would all come back to haunt him all over again and no amount of pain was worth that
But his body wouldn't keep listening to him and within a few more steps he found his legs finally giving up, collapsing onto the ground and groaning in pain as he tried to pick himself up off of the asphalt
"Need some help?"
He jerked, turning and staring up at Derek as his chest heaved and his throat burned
And he couldn't help feeling a little bit of jealousy at seeing him so ... untouched... by the heat of exercise and the chill of the freezing night air
He panted, trying to give an answer and spitting a bit of blood at the pavement as he moved his hand up to wipe at his swollen lip, apparently he had bitten it pretty hard when he fell, hard enough for it to bleed...
Derek didn't seem to wait for an answer after that though, reaching down and gently helping Stiles to his feet, wobbling and shaking as they were
"I can't," Stiles finally panted, squeezing his eyes shut and grimacing in pain, though it had nothing to do with the full body ache he was having now
"I can't.... go back...." he sniffed, fists curling and nails digging into his palms
He knew he wasn't making sense but he just.... couldn't.... he couldn't go back to sleep, back to the house, back to the pain of his nightmares...
He couldn't go back
"I know," Derek said quietly, gently wrapping his arms around Stiles, supporting his weight as Stiles leaned into him, letting his head fall down and press gently against the spark's
And so they waited
For the longest time, just standing there on the side of the road, only the sound of Stiles' heavy breathing and the warmth of Derek's embrace filling the air
"Why are you... out here?" Stiles finally managed
"Sometimes I come out to see the house... where it used to be anyway,"
He felt a stab of sympathy in his chest, wincing at the very idea, because not only was Derek's family gone, but... now his house was too, thanks to the freaking city
"You can come too, if you want.... sit in the preserve with me, I mean, I'm just star gazing now,"
Stiles sniffed again, nodding and moving back to carefully slip his hand into Derek's
The bitter taste of iron was still in his mouth as Derek reached out to gently wipe some of the blood off of his lip, but it didn't really bother him
Following Derek into the preserve felt somehow... relieving....
Like he was being taken to a safe place, a sacred place
Wich made absolutely no sense given how many horrible things had happened there but...
But atleast it worked
He sat there with Derek, just staring up at the stars, for the longest time... and at some point he must have fallen asleep, because the last thing he remembered before waking up the next morning at home in bed was glancing up at Derek's face and feeling all of the calm and peace he had always heard about flowing into him
And he hadn't needed to run away to feel it this time
III I cannot stop breaking things, my hands have shattered more than I care to admit, everyone I have ever touched has walked away with scars, I am all teeth and claws- sharp and pointed, a thing like me can never be loved III
I can see through you, we are the same
It's perfectly strange, you run in my veins
How can I keep you inside my lungs?
I breathe what is your's, you breathe what is mine
"Don't look at me like that,"
Derek winced, looking away and feeling his blunt, human nails sink into his palms
They should have been claws
"Hey, are you listening to me?"
Stiles could snap his fingers at him all he wanted, it wasn't going to make any difference, it wasn't going to make him look up
"I hurt you Stiles!"
"It's just a scratch!"
"I. HURT. YOU."
Stiles licked his lips, aggravation clearly setting in as he moved to take Derek's face in his hands, not letting go even as the wolf tried to shake his head away
"It was an accident, you don't think I know that?"
"It doesn't matter! I still hurt you- it's my FAULT!"
"No, it isn't Derek! God not everything in the world is your fault! You want to blame someone for this? How about blaming the hunters that thought they could just waltz in here and kill us all? How about that huh!?"
It had been an ambush, completely unexpected, they were so... unprepared
With most of the pack away at college and the only ones left in Beacon Hills really being the two of them, Liam, Mason, and Hayden right now...
It hadn't gone well when they had been taken by surprise like that
They thought they were just tracking a rogue omega and then....
"It isn't your fault,"
Derek had gotten shot in the stomach with a wolfsbane bullet, and when Stiles had gone to try to get it out another gun shot had startled the wolf
He had jerked, his claws swinging up and scratching into the spark's chest
It wasn't deep
It wasn't ... dangerous, or life-threatening by any stretch of the imagination
They were shallow wounds, probably wouldn't even scar, but...
"Derek, listen to me-"
"NO! Stop making excuses for me Stiles! I can't.... I can't....."
He couldn't even finish his sentence
He couldn't do anything right, not a single thing...
Even after all this time, after living with his claws for his entire life, he still-....
He couldn't do anything but hurt people, that had been made clear, and yet Stiles wouldn't blame him, he wouldn't just... be honest
He wouldn't do what Derek wanted him to do- blame him, scream at him, tell him all of the terrible hurting aching words that were blooming up in Derek's chest like mantras, tell him he was moving out, that they'd never speak again...
And Derek didn't WANT that ofcourse but it was what he deserved and it would make SENSE and it was what Stiles SHOULD do....
But when in the hell has Stiles ever done what he SHOULD do?
"Stop blaming yourself," Stiles said firmly, taking a step closer, dangerous and mighty, like a threat, like a promise
And Derek could only step back, backing up against the counter until there was nowhere else to go
"It wasn't your fault, it was an ACCIDENT-"
"An accident that could have KILLED you!"
"That doesn't make it your fault!" Stiles screamed, bracing his hands against both sides of the counter, boxing Derek in, giving him nowhere to go, no chance of escape
Derek went quiet, he knew that nothing he said could change Stiles' mind, that nothing he did would ever ... make him see that Derek was a dangerous person
That everytime he came near, he was playing with fire, and that fire had destroyed so many things...
It was the same fire that destroyed his family, burned down his home, took everything from him...
It was contagious, somehow catching onto Derek and never leaving, spreading flames wherever Derek touched like a disease
And he didn't know how to put it out
"I get it, ok? I get it, you... you hurt people without meaning to, you feel like everything you touch just... breaks... shatters, do you think I don't know what that feels like? Do you think for a single freaking second that I don't blame myself every DAY for what I did when I was possessed? Not to mention everything I did before, after.... I GET blame Derek, I understand guilt, you and I... we're the same like that, we understand it in ways that... that most people don't, but I'm telling you this, as one constant screw-up to another: This. Is not. Your fault."
Derek didn't know what he was expecting after that, but it certainly wasn't for Stiles to wrap his arms around the wolf, squeezing, pulling him into a tight hug and gently rubbing his back, dropping his head down to Derek's shoulder and breathing him in
And Derek, because he was a weak, weak excuse for a man...
He hugged back
Tears pricking his eyes as his arms slowly snaked around the spark's back, pulling him in tighter, harder, suffocating himself into Stiles' shoulder and feeling his chest quiver as he squeezed
"It's ok," Stiles promised, gently stroking his fingers through his hair
And with every squeeze Derek gave, Stiles returned it in full
For the first time since Derek could remember he felt the tears start to fall down from his eyes and Stiles....
Stiles just squeezed him even tighter
IIII Let me love those broken parts of you, that you are afraid even your mother wouldn't love IIII
Give me love like never before
'Cause lately I've been craving more
And it's been a wile but I still feel the same
Maybe I should let you go
"He should be fine, just a few scrapes and bruises really,"
When Derek told Stiles that Mason would be alright after being attacked by a wendigo, he assumed he would have gotten a bit more of an enthusiastic reaction
But it sounded hollow, like Stiles wasn't even really... present, like he hadn't really heard him at all...
He couldn't figure out what had captured his freind's attention, atleast... not until he noticed the flowers
Though why Stiles seemed to be so caught up in a bouquet of pink flowers that had been sitting on the receptionist's desk was still a mystery to him
"Pink carnations were her favorite," he said quietly, reaching out with trembling fingers and brushing along one of the petals rubbing his thumb across it and seeming to barely notice Derek at all
"My mom's," he added a second later, and then... it all made sense
The reality of it all came crashing into him and he understood why he was so dispondant
Swallowing, Derek stepped closer, leaning carefully against the counter and biting the inside of his cheek
"My mom's favorite was Primrose,"
"Really? Huh... never even heard of that flower until The Hunger Games,"
It still sounded vacant although now it was a bit ... more
Like Stiles had come just a little bit more to his senses, woken a little more from a dream
"My mom would have hated that series," Derek said with a slight smirk
"Yeah... mine too," Stiles smiled back, small and weak, slowly pulling his fingers away from the flowers
And for a wile they were silent, neither saying anything, nothing really needed to be said
"Tommorrow's the anniversary,"
That was all
That was all it took for Derek to reach out, wrapping his arm around the younger male and pulling him in closer
Stiles sniffed, tears starting to sting his eyes as he threw his arms around the other man and hugged him tightly, burying his head in his shoulder and taking a few low, deep breaths
He didn't want to cry
He didn't want this to... this to happen....
He was so utterly unprepared for this, he had been trying to spend the day ignoring it
He had been trying to just... put it out of his head and then those flowers....
His fingers curled into Derek's shirt, tugging slightly, nails digging into the threads, and Derek didn't move, he didn't seem to mind at all
"I miss her," he breathed, and he didn't know why he said it because he never said it out loud, he hadn't for years
It hurt too much to admit, and it usually got stuck on his tongue
But somehow with Derek it came easily, naturally, like it was supposed to be said, like it NEEDED to be said, and as soon as he said it the tears came, a terrible sound sneaking out of his throat, something he didn't want to acknowledge
"I know," was all Derek said, but that was enough
Stiles didn't know why he was suddenly being so honest
It wasn't like him, but then again when it came to this time of year he did alot of things that he wouldn't normally do...
He sniffed quietly, taking a shaking breath as Derek started to gently rub his back
"She would have been proud of you, you know,"
Stiles let out a weak laugh, shaking his head and pressing tighter against the werewolf
"Of what? Derek there's nothing ... nothing about me that anyone can be proud of,"
"That isn't true,"
"Yeah it i-"
"I'm proud of you,"
Stiles' jaw tensed, any other day he would have argued, he would have protested, he would have tried to explain that he was nothing special, asked why Derek said those things, because he...
He had nothing about him that anyone should EVER be proud of...
But he felt so... vulnerable and proud and very strangely GOOD that he just didn't have the energy to now
"Your's too," he said after a moment, smiling weakly as he pulled away and stared up into the wolf's eyes, sincerity written all over his face
"I'm proud of you Derek, your mom... she would've been to, and you don't get to tell me she wouldn't or that I'm not, if I'm gonna accept it... so are you,"
And he didn't really accept it, not... not really
But it was better
It was closer to acceptance than he usually felt and maybe, if this feeling stayed, if he worked at it, maybe he could learn to accept it
It wasn't a goal and he didn't want to, because he knew it was a lie, a false promise, but he somehow had a feeling that he was going to end up learning to anyway
"Ok," Derek finally said, giving him the same weak smile as he moved to wrap an arm around Stiles' shoulders as they walked out
"I believe you,"
Those were words that Stiles had longed to hear for the longest time, just about something, about anything, and coming from Derek... they somehow felt right, normal, natural
Somehow, Derek always believed him
V Pour yourself into me and I will not let a drop of you hit the ground V
And I'll use you as a makeshift gauge
Of how much to give and how much to take
Oh I'll use you as a warning sign
That if you talk enough sense, then you'll lose your mind
Derek was used to being alone
He had been ever since Laura died
No one cared about him really, no one truly ... wanted him around
And that was fine, he was used to it
And sure he and Stiles lived together but that... that was just out of convenience, right?
They also worked together, they investigated supernatural happenings, tried to keep Beacon Hills safe, worked to protect the town
And it didn't garner all that much money really, but Derek had plenty of money and investments to supplement it and even though the business (if you could call it that) was Stiles' idea Derek had put his name on the forms too and took to giving Stiles something of a paycheck
God knows he deserved it, putting his life at risk for the hellmouth that was this freaking town and asking for nothing in return, putting any of his own personal wants and desires on the backburner like this....
And living alone was expensive, too expensive for a nineteen-year-old with what barely counted as a job
They were together all the time anyway, it just... made sense that they lived together right?
They were roommates and partners and .. freinds... wich left a hesitant film on Derek's tongue because he still didn't really know if he could define them as that or not but he sort of hoped that he could
But none of that meant that Stiles CARED- besides him staying alive, to some degree
It didn't mean Stiles would really notice that Derek had left early that morning, driven half way across California to check on an investment Laura had made back when she was alive
It didn't mean that he would care that Derek was gone, right?
"Where the hell have you been?"
Or maybe that was wrong
Derek wasn't quite sure what to do with that confrontation, he had just walked into the house and there was Stiles, sitting at the bottom of the stairs staring at him like a parent waiting on their wayward teenager to get home after curfew
"Out," Derek huffed vaguely, tossing his keys in the bowl by the door and shifting his jacket off
"'Out'? Seriously? What are you, twelve?" he huffed, eyes narrowing
"You scared the hell out of me Derek! You've been gone all day, no phone call, just some vague freaking note that said you were going out and that you'd pick up milk!"
Shoot he forgot the milk....
"I was about to call a search party for God's sake! You can't just... just disappear like that! GOD!" he almost screamed, leaping to his feet and stalking closer
Derek braced himself, preparing for some kind of... impact
He wasn't sure what kind, but...
But when Stiles tossed his arms around him, hugging the life out of him and taking a deep, shaking breath...
It was the least expected thing Derek could think of
"You can't just... just run off like that, you worry people when you do that Derek, you worry ME, or have you forgotten the plethora of times that you've been freaking KIDNAPPED? Or you know, almost MURDERED? Not to mention all the times you've run off and haven't come back for months at a time,"
Derek swallowed, looking down and closing his eyes, because ... he really just hadn't thought of it like that
He hadn't really thought about it at all if he was being completely honest, but Stiles had a point, he supposed
"I'm sorry," he said quietly, giving Stiles a slight, gentle hug back as some way of signalling that he was alright, that everything was ok
"Good, you'd better be," Stiles huffed, reluctantly pulling back and looking down at the floor
"Call, from now on, or atleast leave your phone on,"
Derek nodded obediently, fidgeting a little bit
"Good.... now, you're gonna buy me dinner, because my worry for you prevented me from making my own,"
Derek smirked slightly, grabbing his jacket and keys again
"Let me guess, Bella's Diner?"
"Hell yes, you know me so well,"
VI The most intimate thing we can do is to allow people we love most see us at our worst, our lowest, our weakest, true intimacy happens when nothing is perfect VI
And I don't want to see what I've seen
To undo what has been done
Turn off all the lights
Let the morning come
'Cause you're a hard soul to save, with an ocean in the way, but I'll get around it
"Is there a reason you're up here all alone?"
Stiles wasn't entirely surprised that someone had come after him, but that someone being Derek had certainly been something of a shock
Though maybe it shouldn't have been
He and Derek had always had something of a peculiar bond, a strange closeness that neither of them had with anyone else, and lately that closeness was growing stronger than ever
Maybe he really shouldn't have been surprised that Derek was the one to leave Lydia's Halloween party and come upstairs to find him
"I just needed some time away from it all, I think," Stiles replied with a shrug
In all truth he hadn't really been sure why he left either, it had just felt... right, necessary, he needed it...
But he didn't really know why
"It can be overwelming," Derek said after a moment, walking into the room and sitting on the floor next to Stiles
"I don't even know what's overwelming me though," Stiles mumbled back, rubbing at his eyes and sighing quietly
"It's... hard to put into words, but it's alot to take in at once, all of these people... some of them you know, some you don't, some you haven't seen in months... we've been living kind of to ourselves for a wile, wich isn't a bad thing but... it makes situations like this stressfull," he explained
"You have experience I'm guessing?"
"Ofcourse, Laura and I had this problem all the time,"
Stiles made a quiet noise of understanding, glancing down and picking at the patch of slightly discolored carpet beneath him, still a little stained from where Lydia had dropped wine years and years ago...
"Alot has happened here, in this room... this house... this town," he mused quietly, licking his lips as his fingers skimmed over the slightly pinked carpet
"I know," Derek said quietly, leaning back a little more and going silent for a wile
"I can't believe Lydia never managed to sell this place," Stiles said after a moment, smirking up at the wolf
"Well to be fair they were trying to make a profit from it, do the people of Beacon Hills generally seem like the lakehouse type? I mean, outside of Lydia ofcourse,"
"Jackson probably would have bought it," Stiles snorted
"He had a porche didn't he?"
"Yeah, he was like... the single most pretentious person ever and he SO would have bought it just to rub in Lydia's face,"
"What a nice guy," Derek teased
"Yeah a real sport," Stiles snorted back
Things went quiet again, though it was peacefull, it wasn't without it's weight
"You know... it's weird, I like seeing everybody again but it's just.... just so...."
The spark nodded, licking his lips
"I kind of was having a better time when we were just handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters, this is .... alot to take in,"
"I've never cared for parties," Derek shrugged simply
"Even though you threw that blacklight party for Halloween a few years ago?" Stiles asked in confusion
Sure it hadn't really seemed like Derek himself was that into it, and hell, he was barely around, but it was still his place and his party-
"I did that for you guys,"
He glanced up from the carpet, staring beside him at Derek and biting his lip
"You kinda did alot for us,"
"Yes really, dude you... you don't get any credit for all the hell you went through for us, and yeah I mean... some of it was pretty poorly executed but you .. TRIED... wich is a hell of alot more than I can say for other people, you tried Derek, and you did alot, even if people don't recognize that,"
"You recognize that," Derek pointed out
"Well yeah I'm your roommate so I'm special," Stiles snorted back
Derek's lips quirked up a little, eyebrows raising as he glanced back at his roommate
"Do you want to stay here for a wile? Until you can ... get yourself back together?"
Stiles thought about it for a moment, shaking his head and smiling a little bit more
"Is it... terrible if I kinda want to get take out and go watch horror movies for the rest of the night?"
"It isn't terrible, parties like these can be... emotionally draining, I wouldn't blame you, and if anyone asks you can just say you're exhausted from spending all day doing last-minute decorating at the house, wich isn't untrue, you were outside doing finishing touches for ... what? Three hours?"
"Four," Stiles smirked
"See? It's fine, and everyone is here for the weekend so it isn't like you can't see them tommorrow if you want to,"
"You know, I never thought I'd see the day where Derek Hale gives me good advice, but we have arrived,"
Derek rolled his eyes, reaching down as Stiles took his hand and allowed the werewolf to help him up
"Yeah well I never thought I'd see the day where you convinced me to dress up as Rick Grimes for Halloween but we've freaking arrived,"
"Hey! I'm Daryl, it's only fair!"
Derek just snorted and rolled his eyes, wrapping an arm around Stiles' shoulders as he started to lead him out
"Atleast you get the leather vest, you stuffed me in a sheriff's costume- wich, by the way, I can only hope your father never sees,"
"It WAS my father's,"
Derek paused, staring at him with a look of fright flashing across his face
Derek pursed his lips, eyes rolling as he playfully shoved the back of Stiles' head
"If a zombie gets you I'm not helping,"
"Oh come on, say 'Stuff and thangs' just once!!"
"Don't make me shut you up Stiles,"
"Ohhh come on! You just wasted the perfect opportunity to say 'I'll stuff your thangs'! It would've been perfect!!"
"Did anybody come dressed as Negan?" he snorted, pausing when Stiles suddenly stopped walking and glared at him
"Don't even joke about that,"
"..You're right, too far,"
Stiles shook his head, smiling slightly at the other man
"You know, I also never thought I'd live to see the day where we're joking about TV together and leaving a Halloween party early for pizza and movies,"
"Alot has changed hasn't it?" Derek asked quietly
Stiles smiled a little bit more, wrapping an arm around Derek's waist and nodding in agreement
"Yeah.... not all of it for the worse,"
VII I wonder if it’s medically possible to be addicted to another human being VII
Can I lay by your side?
Next to you, you
And make sure you're alright
I'll take care of you
I don't want to be here if I can't be with you tonight
The funny thing about getting attached to someone is that the circumstances around being near them stop mattering
It stops mattering what you're doing or when or why
It stops mattering if it's something you, on your own, would do or would have suggested
It all just ... stops mattering
Because when you're with that person, it feels good, it feels natural- it feels RIGHT
And that's .. a little bit incredible
Stiles understood how that could happen, he understood why that was, but he never himself understood the gravity of the sensation
"Can I lay here?"
Derek opened one eye, head raising and tilting a little bit to the side as he stared at the other, giving his shoulders a roll in some symbalance of a shrug before laying his head down on his paws again
Stiles inhaled, laying down on the floor under the window and reaching out to dig his fingers through the wolf's fur
It wasn't completely unusual, Stiles often spent time with Derek when he was in wolf form, usually petting him, wich he only considered being weird the first time it happened
"It's like having a big dog!" he said early on
But he had stopped saying it lately
It changed, to some degree, it stopped being about the fascination associated with it or the fun of being able to pet a "dog"
And it started just being about Derek
Just being around him was soothing in ways that Stiles couldn't really explain
Being in his presence was comforting and warm and it made him feel at peace and content with himself that he just... didn't... in other circumstances
Even when it was just during times like now, when Derek was laying under a window sunning himself (and yes, Stiles had asked six times since moving in together if Derek was sure he wasn't actually a cat, he had gotten kicked four times and snarled at twice)
Even now... it felt indescribably good to be here, laying next to the wolf, closing his eyes, soaking in the sun
Suddenly there was a shift, Stiles' eyes springing open when he felt a weight settle on his stomach
Looking down, he smirked at seeing Derek, head laid across Stiles' belly, eyes still closed, but clearly asking for attention
The best thing about Derek in wolf form was probably how affectionate he was, it was as if being in a wolf's body freed something in him
Something that craved touch, made peace with attention, and enjoyed all of the things that Derek in human form always shyed away from
Like being a wolf calmed him as much as being around him calmed Stiles
As if he felt somehow, remarkably less... guilty and hurt in this form
Stiles understood, in this form Derek was HIMSELF
No restrictions, no barriers, no masks, no pretending to be something- someone- he wasn't, no hiding, no holding back, no restraint...
Freedom to be himself- his ENTIRE self
And Derek had once told him that he felt more in tune with his wolf nature than his human nature, it had always felt more natural to him to use his extra senses, to howl and snarl and use his teeth and claws
It had always felt more like himself to depend on his wolf instincts and the human instincts- the human RESTRICTIONS- had always just felt like a cage
Derek was the opposite of Scott in that sense
Scott strived to be more human and temper down his wolf
Derek craved to be more like the wolf and leave his human form behind
Stiles understood Derek a little bit more
He understood the freedom of being a wolf, of relying on instinct instead of what society tries to force down your throat, of being allowed to run and howl and roll around in the dirt if you want to (even if Derek still never rolled around in the dirt because "That's not a wolf thing Stiles that's a chinchilla thing" whatever)
It made sense to him, was the point, he had once told Derek- in a mixture of confidence and sleep deprivation- "Wolves are lucky, you don't have to put up with SOCIETY as a wolf, as a wolf you're free to your opinion, you like who you like, you hate who you hate, you pee where you stand"
Derek hadn't been entirely pleased by the analogy but he agreed with Stiles anyway, atleast about the freedom of opinion thing
If he had the option, Stiles would probably spend most of his time as a wolf, especially since he could always just act like a dog and trick people into treating him like one
(Dogs have the best lives, seriously)
He kind of admired Derek's restraint in that he only shifted a few times a week
"So I don't get rusty," he explained when it started
But Stiles knew it was much more than that and didn't blame him for it at all
"You attention hound," the spark teased, reaching out and gently starting to card his fingers through Derek's fur, scratching behind his ears and eliciting a quiet sound of approval from the wolf
"I should take you into town like this later and con people into giving us free food, you know if your dog is cute enough people totally will,"
Derek snorted, kicking him in the leg, but as per usual there was no force behind the action and it felt like there was barely a tap
"Seriously, one time I knew this girl who had a Yorkie, she took that dog everywhere and came home with free stuff almost every day, people will do anything for a cute dog and you, my freind, are ADORABLE,"
Derek just snorted again, but atleast this time he didn't kick
"Ofcourse you'd have to put up with all of the kids that would come over and pet you but you wouldn't mind would you?"
Stiles already knew the answer to that, Derek may SAY he didn't like strangers petting him but that was a massive lie
Whenever someone else saw him as a wolf he turned into a big puppy, doing his best to look like an innocent dog (probably so they wouldn't call animal control though, to be fair)
But the way he preened and wagged his tail whenever someone petted him was going pretty overboard if that was his ONLY goal, and when it came to kids petting him? He practically turned into a lap dog
One time he even played fetch with one of the neighborhood girls
"We should get a dog sometime though, not that you aren't cute enough on your own- because you are, but I'd kinda like to be able to pet somebody whenever I want without feeling like I'm objectifying them,"
As if to say he wasn't Derek promptly shifted his head closer, ears flattening and nudging Stiles' hand for more
"Attention hound," he repeated with a snort of his own
Not that that seemed to detour him at all
Things got quiet after that, Stiles closing his eyes peacefully as his fingers skimmed through the wolf's fur
He didn't know how long they spent like that before he eventually dozed off, only that it was dark out when he woke up, and that Derek was still sleeping on his chest
He didn't bother to wake him up
VIII No, no you did not deserve that pain, whatever reason you think you did is a lie, it's a lie from your past and anyone who ever harmed you, but I'm telling you the truth, you did not deserve it VIII
I found the savior
I don't think he remembers
'Cause he's off to pay his crimes
And he has no time for mine
I found a lover
A love like religion
I'm such a fool for sacrifice
Breath heavy, tears falling, hands trembling
He didn't think this was going to happen
He thought he was strong enough to prevent it
He thought it would be ok, he and Derek taking on this... creature... by themselves
But he was wrong, and seriously, who even knew basilisks were real?
"Derek... Derek look at me, look at me!!"
The wolf cracked his eyes open, taking a deep, shaking breath as he stared up at the other man
"I... it's fine," Derek coughed, groaning and squeezing his eyes shut
"It's not fine! God Derek why do you always do that!? Why are you always so freaking quick to sacrifice yourself like this!?" Stiles shouted, moving the wolf's shirt out of the way and taking a few deep, quivering breaths of his own as he moved his hands over the terrible slice in Derek's stomach
"It's ok Stiles... it's ok..." he panted
"It's not ok! For God's sake Derek stop saying that! When are you going to start putting some value on your life huh!?"
"I'm sick of the sacrificial martyr crap! I'm so freaking sick of you throwing away everything out of guilt and self loathing!"
"Oh like you wouldn't do the same," Derek bit out venomously, hissing as Stiles started to weave his magic inside and out of the wound
Sparks were strange, Derek had learned, their magic was so incredibly unique, it didn't have the same rules that druids had to live by, it was like it's own energy, it's own life, and when Stiles used it... he never really knew what to expect
"This isn't about me Derek!"
"It is about you! I... I couldn't let you die Stiles!" he coughed, his claws digging into the dirt and wincing as he felt rain drops start to splatter over his skin
That was just what they needed...
"Why the hell not!? What makes my life more important than your's!? God Derek I could've... I could've handled myself!!"
"No you couldn't... that thing... it was too close, it would have killed you..."
"SO you have to live Stiles.. I.. I need you to live,"
"Why? Why the hell am I so important?"
"Because people.... you have people who care about you... I won't take you away from them-"
"It wouldn't be YOU-"
"Because you're young, you still have a life to li-"
"You're only six years older than me!"
"Because you're GOOD Stiles.... you're good, and ... and people need you, because-"
"I'm not GOOD Derek, I've never BEEN good, I'm... I am just as screwed up as you are if not more so don-"
"Because I deserve to pay for-"
"DON'T! It isn't your fault, NONE of it is your fault!! Not the fire, not Laura, not Erica or Boyd or ANY of it! Stop blaming yourself for things you di-"
"Because I NEED you to live!" Derek finally shouted, yelping in pain as his stomach throbbed and resisting the urge to roll into a ball and try to stop the bleeding
Stiles needed him to stay still and as much as he believed he deserved this he wasn't about to put the guilt of his blood on Stiles' hands
And he knew it would be a guilt that would haunt Stiles his entire life, because they were very much the same that way
For all of their differences, there were many parts about them that were all too alike...
Atleast Stiles had seemed to go quiet for a little wile...
"You don't think I need you to live too?" Stiles snarled, the magic weaving through Derek's wound taking on a slightly hotter quality to it and making the wolf yelp again in pain
He mumbled an apology, the magic energy cooling again as he stared- more like glared really- up at the other man
"I need you to survive, didn't you say that once?"
"That was different,"
"No it wasn't! I know you Derek, I know you and I know your guilt, I know that you still feel responsible for everything that Kate did to you, for everything Jennifer did and Peter did and Deucalion did and ALL of the other people who hurt you and God there have been so MANY people that hurt you.... even I've hurt you,"
"Stiles that is-"
"Shut up! I know you, I know your guilt... I have guilt too, you don't think I feel responsible every freaking DAY for the nogitsune? For killing people? For... for having this... darkness inside of me?"
For Donnovan, for his mother, for so much more...
"But I live with it, and I don't try to get myself killed-"
"I wasn't TRYING-"
"Yeah well you came close enough to succeeding!"
He sniffed, shifting his weight on his nees and licking his lips
"I know guilt.... but you have to try to stay alive Derek- try HARDER, for all of those reasons that you listed about me... they apply to you too, Derek I CARE about you, ok? I NEED you, you can't.... you can't leave me alone like this PLEASE..."
Derek took a breath, his breathing was starting to get easier with the healing of his wound and he had to remember to thank Stiles a little bit better later
Wordlessly he reached out, putting a hand on the spark's arm
And for the longest time they were quiet, just ... utterly silent
"I'm sorry," he finally said
Stiles sighed, moving back as the wound finished closing and he glanced down at the wolf, reaching out shakily and feeling a wave of releif wash over him as Derek sat up and wrapped his arms around him, hugging him tightly, holding him close
"Please .... Derek please don't..... please don't die on me,"
And as hard as it was to accept, as much as some part of him hurt to think about it, he understood that Stiles did need him
Maybe not in the same way that Stiles meant but...
He had been right earlier, he knew Derek's guilt, and Derek knew his, and he knew that as much guilt as he would feel having Stiles' blood on his hands, knowing that he couldn't save him, couldn't protect him, knowing that Stiles was dead due to his failures...
He knew that Stiles was going to feel that exact same kind of guilt if Derek died on him
And he couldn't do that to Stiles
He had enough guilt on his shoulders- most of it unwarranted guilt- without Derek adding to it, and he knew that that extra push.... that extra push might be what utterly destroys him, just as his death would utterly destroy Derek...
"I won't," he finally said, tightening his grip on the younger male
"I promise... I won't let you go through that,"
It was easier to see his worth when it wasn't really about him
Because if Stiles needed him, if he needed Derek to stay alive... how could he possibly do anything to risk taking that away from him?
VIIII You know, I think love is about finding someone who's flaws work in perfect harmony with your's VIIII
You can coax the cold right out of me
Drape me in your warmth
The rapture in the dark puts me at ease
The blind eye of the storm
Let's go for a walk down Easy Street
Where you can be reborn
"I can't believe this luck," Stiles grumbled, wiping a hand through his wet hair
"No kidding," Derek muttered back, staring in frustration at the jeep and wrinkling his nose
He was tempted to remind Stiles that he had SAID to take the Toyota in the first place but he didn't think that would be very helpfull
Especially not after the night they had had...
That basilisk incident had really taken alot of emotional energy out of both of them, not to mention physical energy
"Ofcourse it WOULD be the coldest day of the year so far," Stiles grumbled bitterly as he stared in frustration at the jeep
"It's November," Derek sighed back unhelpfully, taking a step closer
"Yes I needed a reminder of what month it is thanks," Stiles huffed back
"I'm just saying... never mind," Derek grumbled back with a sigh of his own, taking a few steps closer and wrapping his arms around Stiles
Because if it hadn't been bad enough that they were in the middle of a cold wave they had to add to it that they had been stuck in the rain for over an hour, and sure, it wasn't raining anymore, but they were still considerably soaked from the earlier downpour
"Our luck sucks," Stiles grumbled, though he knew that wasn't helping anything any more than Derek's annoyed comments were
"Where the hell are we anyway?"
"About six miles outside of Beacon Hills, there's a motel right around the corner that we could walk to, get in someplace warm wile you call for help,"
Stiles' eyebrows pinched, glancing up at Derek strangely
"I'm not even going to ask how you know that.... so walking you say?"
Derek gave a slow nod and Stiles sighed again in frustration
He didn't want to leave his jeep out here in the middle of the road- as deserted as it was- because something could happen to it, hell someone could TAKE it!
Well... maybe they could if the engine hadn't blown but still!!
On the other hand though he was freezing and even with Derek's incredible body heat he could feel a tremor running through the wolf's arm, he was cold too...
And he knew they'd be out here for ages, even if he DID get a call in to his dad right away it would take atleast an hour for him to get something settled with work and actually get here
He could always call a cab or an uber though, he supposed, but that would take time too....
"Ok, motel me,"
Derek nodded, keeping his arms wrapped around Stiles as tightly as he could as they walked
Stiles was a little curious to know if Derek had ever stayed at this motel he talked about, sure he knew Derek had traveled in and out of Beacon Hills several times over the years but he had never actually thought about the logistics of it
Had Derek stayed here before?
How many times?
Was he alone?
Had he come here with Laura once upon a time, or Cora? Or even Braeden?
He was starting to feel his mind spiraling so he tried to quit thinking about it, wondering about Derek's history at this place wasn't going to do either of them any good
"Well, I've seen worse," Stiles noted with as much positivity as he could muster- wich, truthfully, wasn't much
"This place isn't haunted is it?"
"What? I.. not that I know of,"
"Huh... good to know,"
Derek still didn't know about the haunted motel he and the others had gone to now that he thought about it...
"Come on," Derek urged, pulling him into the lobby
Stiles just gave a little nod of obedience and followed, shuddering and nearly clinging to the wolf as he tried to get away from the cold
Derek was ... wonderfully warm
Even though he was chilled from the air, he still had infinitely more warmth than Stiles ever did, and it felt amazing, leaning into him like this, absorbing the heat as he tried to banish the cold away from his bones
It was a nice contrast between them on the average day, Derek ran too hot and Stiles ran too cold and they evened eachother out when they were together
But that was alot like how things typically were for them, they melded together perfectly
Stiles was too loud, Derek was too quiet, and they met in the middle
Stiles loved to cook, Derek couldn't cook
Stiles hated working with cars, Derek loved working with cars
In ways they were alot alike, almost identical, but in all of the ways that they weren't they were exact opposites and fit together smoothly anyway
He wondered sometimes how many other ways they could fit comfortably...
"Come on," he repeated, jerking Stiles out of the pleasant daze he had fallen into and prompting him to start walking again, following the older man to the room that they had been assigned
"For what it's worth, I'm sorry I caused you so much distress earlier,"
For a second Stiles didn't know what he was talking about, until things clicked into place...
"Only you would consider almost dieing as causing me distress," Stiles said with a sigh and a shake of his head
"Then how would you describe it?" Derek asked with raised eyebrows, slipping the keycard into the slot and stepping into the motel room with Stiles right behind him
"Um, let's see, how about almost dieing is a good enough description?" Stiles huffed back
Derek didn't really agree with that, after all the biggest problem with his near death experience was the upset it had caused to Stiles, but he knew that Stiles himself wouldn't agree...
"It doesn't matter, I mean.... don't worry about causing me 'distress' ok? It's... I bought into all of this didn't I? When all of it started... I could've run the other way, I've had more opportunities to leave this crap behind than I can count,"
"And yet you just keep coming back for more," Derek said with a slight smirk, sliding his jacket off and setting it down on the coat rack
"Yeah, exactly, I keep coming back for more, because I BELONG here ok? It's... I knew what I was getting into, I knew this wasn't going to be easy but here I am,"
"Yeah, here you are," Derek agreed, sitting down on the edge of the springy, squeaky motel bed as Stiles shed his own jacket and let it fall to the floor, grabbing his phone from the pocket of his jeans and turning it on, waiting for it to boot up
"I'm ok with it, this... I mean.... this life, alright? Don't think I'm not, it's you getting yourself hurt all of the time and acting like a sacrificial lamb that I'm NOT ok with,"
Derek sighed, not that he didn't appreciate what Stiles was saying but he just didn't understand why he was so ... intense with all of this
"Because you need me right?" he asked, tone slightly flippant
"Yeah because I freaking need you Derek! When are you going to accept that!?" Stiles snapped, tossing the phone down on the bed
Stiles jerked, blinking at him in confusion
"Why do you need me? What's so special about me Stiles? What makes me so different from Lydia or Scott or-"
"Because I LOVE you!"
They were both quiet for a moment, the sickening, sinking realization of what he had just said starting to sink in as he swallowed, moving a little bit closer and licking his lips, staring at the werewolf and taking a shaking breath
"I love you Derek,"
Kiss me on the mouth and set me free
X Though I have made many mistakes, loving you is not one of them X
And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion was rushing out of me
And the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean delivered me
"You... love me," Derek said slowly
Stiles swallowed, looking down and carding his fingers through his hair
"Yeah... yeah, and look I know it's ... inconvenient? And.. I'm not asking you to say anything back or-"
Stiles almost jumped, shock hitting him like a train as Derek slammed down and pressed a slow, gentle kiss on his lips
It took a few moments to let it sink in, but once his mind caught up to what was happening he let his eyes fall shut, leaning closer, pressing harder, wrapping an arm around Derek's neck and pulling him in closer
His arms slid down Derek's back, keeping him pressed against his chest as he deepened the kiss
It was still soft, gentle, and so overwelmingly emotional, but it was also deep and somewhat desperate
They needed this, Stiles realized, they both did
"How can you love me?" Derek breathed, finally pulling back and gently pressing their heads together
"Is that all you have to say?" Stiles snorted back, a light smile on his face as he moved his hands back up, one staying on Derek's shoulder as the other moved to gently cup his cheek, moving his thumb against the hear of Derek's beard and licking his lips
"I love you too, is that better?" the wolf teased
"Only if you mean it,"
Derek nodded slowly, gently moving Stiles' hand off of his shoulder and slipping their fingers together
"I mean it," he promised
"Then it's better," Stiles muttered back, closing his eyes and just.... breathing
Inhaling his scent, his presence, his very being....
"I could ask you the same thing you know, how can you love me?"
"Easily," Derek answered simply, causing the spark to give him a slight smirk
"Ok then, you have your answer- easily,"
"So what now?" the wolf asked quietly, letting his own eyes fall shut as his thumb padded gently and absently across Stiles' hand
"Mm... now... we let ourselves have this, everybody else gets to be happy, you deserve to be happy too Derek, do... do I make you happy?"
Derek nodded slightly, dragging his face a little bit lower
"You do... do I make you happy?"
"Yeah... yeah you do,"
"You deserve to be happy too Stiles..."
"Then let me have this, let me keep this.... let me keep you,"
"You have me," Derek promised, eyes opening after a moment as he stared up at the other man
Stiles wrapped his arms around his neck again, hugging him
Just.... hugging him
"I'll call somebody later,"
That was the last thing they said to eachother for hours as they spent the time together
Letting the rain pound down outside, listening to the soft thrumming sound
Letting their hands run together, warm eachother, brush over the other's skin
Lips exploring, skimming across lips and over skin and down faces
Neither were sure how long they spent there and neither cared
They just spent the longest time with eachother, laying in the creaking, squeaking bed
Holding eachother, exchanging the occasional kiss, a brush of fingers through hair every now and then
For the first time in years they indulged in something
They let themselves have something- something good, something pure and selfish all at once, something that they needed
The realization hung in the air, neither spoke it because neither needed to, it was clear
They needed eachother
It was as simple as that
I think we deserve a soft epilogue my love, we are good people, and we've suffered enough