Derek isn’t surprised that even when it’s Christmas - the season of joy and giving - some shrivelled old soul is still hellbent on sparking the apocalypse.
The witch has been terrorising Beacon Hills for the past few weeks, always disappearing in a puff of smoke before they could get too close, but with the last time she’d made a mistake. Isaac had caught the receipt fluttering to the ground in her wake and it’s led them to one of those tacky gift shops set up just for the Christmas period that’s turned out to be the base of her operations.
She’s already chanting some sort of curse when they arrive and the way the entire building trembles says she’s worryingly close to completing it. Derek is too far away to get to her in time so he reaches for the nearest object with the intent of launching it at her head, but Stiles seems to have the same idea. Their hands clasp the snow globe between them at the same moment just as the witch draws a complicated symbol in the air and the next thing Derek knows, he’s skidding on his chest through some powdery, glittery white stuff.
He scrambles to his feet and spins around, standing over Stiles still on his front on the floor, ready to defend against some sort of attack. What he finds has his mouth dropping open.
He’s inside a dome of glass standing in front of a house and pine tree surrounded by fluttering fake snow. Straight ahead through the magnifying glass of the snow globe they’re somehow trapped in is the view of a shelf holding creepy Santa figures and to the sides he can see rows of more snow globes. But most importantly, he somehow isn’t drowning. He can see the slosh of the liquid where there’s an air bubble at the height of the dome, but he’s able to move like he’s just walking through air.
Magic, Derek shudders.
He turns back to Stiles who’s now on his hands and knees hacking up a mouthful of glitter and hauls him to his feet.
There’s muted thudding and vibrations coming from somewhere in the shop but he can’t see what’s going on with the shelving in the way. He just hopes it’s the musical sound of someone beating that goddamn witch to a pulp.
Stiles gapes down at his hands in bewilderment like he doesn’t understand why they’re not drowning either, and turns to stare at the house behind them. Derek follows his gaze to find that it looks… real. With different rooms and working doors and- is that a fire? Burning?
They both jump at the sound of Scott’s panicked voice booming around them. The beta’s face magnified through the domed glass is a fearsome sight and Derek could really have done without the view up his nostrils.
Stiles runs to the edge of the globe and batters his fists against the glass. “Get us out!” he shouts.
“Okay, but how? Should I just smash it or-”
“No!” Derek yells, barrelling to Stiles’ side and slapping his palms on the glass, leaving a swirl of glitter in his wake. “If you do that we’ll probably get stuck like this!”
“Then what should I do?”
Derek huffs and crosses his arms but he can see no other way out of their situation than: “Take us to Deaton,” he growls.
Stiles’ face screws up but he doesn’t argue.
Erica looms at Scott’s shoulder, peering down at them wide-eyed. “Oh, cool!” she breathes and Derek stiffens as she raises her hand, reaching out.
“No! Don’t!” he tries, but he’s too late.
She plucks the snow globe off the shelf and the sudden jerk has Stiles losing his balance, flailing out with one hand that he manages to snag in the back of Derek’s collar as he topples backward. Derek gurgles as the material gets tugged up to choke his airway and the next moment, he’s skidding across the glittery, snowy floor until he manages to lash out and catch hold of the trunk of the - real - pine tree growing outside the house. It dislodges Stiles from his clothes but he manages to grab hold of Derek’s foot to save him slamming into the glass below.
“Hold it. Steady,” he bites out and Erica sheepishly passes them over to Scott.
During the car journey to Deaton’s - which is like suffering a ten-minute earthquake - Erica fills them in on the way Boyd managed to knock the witch out with one blow and that he’s stayed behind with Isaac to tie her up. Derek has bigger problems right now than sorting out what to do with her.
The journey from the car to the clinic is like trying to stand on a boat in stormy seas and Stiles spends most of it on his knees clinging to Derek’s waist - which is making Derek uncomfortable for all the wrong reasons. He never thought he’d be so glad to meet solid land in the form of the table in Deaton’s back room.
“Hmm…” Deaton’s impassive face peering down at them is like the opening scene of a nightmare Derek’s sure he’s had a few times before. “It should wear off in a few days.”
“‘Should’?” Derek repeats as Stiles shrieks, “‘Days’? But it’s Christmas tomorrow!”
“It could be worse, Mr. Stilinski,” Deaton says ominously.
Stiles grumbles but Derek narrows his eyes up at the veterinarian, plagued by the feeling, like he always is, that Deaton knows more than he’s letting on.
“Why am I not surprised it’s the two of you?” is the first thing Stiles’ dad says after Scott sets the snow globe down on the Stilinski kitchen table and fills him in on the situation.
Derek can feel his face heat as Stiles squawks, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
John just sighs.
With not much else to do now they’ve been told to wait it out, once Scott’s gone home and John has wandered off to watch TV, their only option is to explore the house.
The front door opens on a living room decorated with a Christmas tree and the crackling fire. There are floor-to-ceiling bookcases spanning one wall and Stiles makes a beeline for them in the hope they’ll hold some information to help get them out of there sooner.
The adjoining room is a kitchen and Derek blinks stupidly when he opens the fridge to find it fully-stocked. Cheese, eggs, milk, some sliced chicken. In one of the cupboards he finds a fresh, springy loaf of bread and by the time Stiles comes to find him, Derek is just cutting his cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwich in half.
“Whaaaaat are you doing?” Stiles asks, wide-eyed.
“I’m hungry.” He hasn’t eaten since lunchtime and going by the clock on the wall it’s almost nine.
“And you’re going to eat that?” Stiles hisses, scandalised.
Derek frowns down at his sandwich which actually looks quite appetising, if he does say so himself. “What’s wrong with it?”
“What if you eat the food and get stuck here?”
“I don’t see any pomegranates,” he quips, then sniffs exaggeratedly at his sandwich. “Smells alright.”
“We’re in water right now! How do you know your sense of smell hasn’t gone all-” Stiles flails his arms around like Derek is supposed to know what that means.
“You smell normal,” he points out, then wishes the witch could have cast a spell to remove his tongue instead. He doesn’t need Stiles wondering how he might smell to Derek or when Derek became so well-acquainted with it or how it might just be the nicest scent he’s ever encountered. “I’ll take the risk,” he continues, then jams his sandwich in his mouth to stop anything else incriminating spilling past his lips.
“Fine! I’ll just say ‘I told you so’ next year when we find out you’re doomed to spend every Christmas for all eternity getting sucked back in here!”
Derek picks up a piece of discarded lettuce, pinches Stiles jaw between the fingers of one hand and stuffs the leaf past his lips with the other. “There. Now, you’re doomed to spend it with me,” he says, sweetly, and Stiles scowls and spits it into the sink as dramatically as possible.
Just as Derek’s polishing off the last bite of his meal, John re-enters the Stilinski kitchen to pour himself a glass of water and announce he’s going to bed.
Stiles hurries outside to speak with him and Derek tries not to listen when he hears Stiles ask, “But what about mom?” Even without his werewolf hearing, it would be difficult to block out John’s voice echoing around them.
“I’m sure she’ll understand if you can’t make it in the morning and have to visit another day. If all else fails, I can always carry you over to see her. I reckon she’ll get a kick out of seeing you like this.”
“Okay,” Stiles murmurs, glumly.
John sighs and Derek can hear in it the hug he clearly wants to give. “Goodnight, kiddo,” he says and then he angles his head to peer at Derek through one of the windows. “Goodnight, Derek. I don’t envy you spending the night in there with this one.”
A smile tugs at Derek’s mouth at Stiles’ return to form. “Goodnight, Sheriff,” he says and watches as John flicks off the light before leaving the room. He kind of wishes he could see what the snow globe would look like from outside, lit up with the golden lights shining from the windows.
It’s a few minutes before Stiles comes back inside and announces he’s going to sleep too. “There must be a bed in here somewhere,” he grumbles as he climbs the stairs.
Derek has barely sunken onto the surprisingly plush sofa to enjoy the warmth of the fire when a panicked shout rings out above him.
He leaps up and takes the stairs three at a time, skidding around the banister with his claws scraping gouges in the wood.
“What?” he barks, taking in Stiles standing in one of the doorways and scanning the landing for any sign of an enemy.
“I can’t- I can’t move.”
“What do you mean, you can’t move?”
“It means what it means, Derek! I. Can’t. Move,” he enunciates, waving his arms in the air.
Derek raises an eyebrow and Stiles rolls his eyes. “Fine, I can move my body and turn around-” he spins three-hundred-and-sixty degrees “- but I can’t move my feet out of the doorway!”
Derek scoffs, marches over, grabs Stiles’ hand and tugs.
Stiles plants his free hand on his hip. “See?”
“But why…?” He trails off at Stiles’ finger pointing up above their heads at a sprig of mistletoe dangling above them bound in red ribbon.
Stiles grimaces. “I think- I think you’re going to have to kiss me.”
Derek laughs, a short burst that dies as soon as it came when he realises Stiles isn’t joking.
“What? No-” He jumps up and tugs at the offending plant but it refuses to budge or even tear.
“Just make it quick, get it over with and we’ll pretend it never happened,” Stiles commands, already closing his eyes in preparation. “No one needs to know.”
Derek stares. How is he supposed to pretend something like that didn’t happen when it’s all he’s been dreaming about for months?
Stiles cracks one eye open when Derek doesn’t move. “Well?”
Derek clenches his fists at his sides and scowls at his feet. “What if I don’t want to pretend it didn’t happen?”
Stiles’ other eye snaps open. “Huh?”
“What if I don’t want to pretend? What if I want to do it again? All the time?”
Stiles gapes at him like he can’t quite believe his ears and for a moment it looks like his feet try to gravitate towards him but he’s knocked back by whatever magic is holding him in place.
“Goddamnit!” Stiles curses at the ceiling and when he turns his gaze back to Derek, his eyes are shining, heart pounding in his chest. “I would have no objections. Not a one. No objections for Stiles. Nuh-uh. No objections here. Stiles has none. Not a single-”
Derek cuts him off with a kiss, hands cupping his cheeks, and he’s ready to savour the moment, the warmth, the softness, but there’s a sudden pressure, a shattering in his ears, and then they’re both gasping and landing with a thud on the Stilinski kitchen floor. They’re back to their normal size but they’re clothes are sopping wet, already dripping a sizable puddle all over the linoleum scattered with broken glass and pieces of the house, back to its usual ceramic now the magic’s worn off.
“My hero prince in shining armour!” Stiles exclaims wrapping one arm around Derek’s neck and pretending to swoon with the other.
“Shut up, Stiles,” Derek says, rolling his eyes, but he doesn’t protest when Stiles leans in to kiss him again.