Derek knows he isn't perfect.
He knows it like he knows the smell of smoke, knows it like the taste of blood and ash in the back of his throat while he tries to sleep at night.
He knows he’s made mistakes, he relives them every day, couldn’t escape them even if he tried.
The memories come back when he sees tall, strong women that remind him of his mother, whenever he hears a low, husky laugh that sounds like Laura. He feels the pain all over again whenever he sees brothers holding small sisters on their shoulders and all he can see is him and Cora. All he wants is to go back in time so he can see her young and happy and have the chance to kiss her on the forehead like she liked him to do and spin her around in the grass in front of their house.
Instead all he has is the cold rush of guilt that comes whenever he hears off-key singing in the distance that reminds him of Peter before fire and pain and loss hollowed his uncle out into a shell of a man and wolf that Derek hates and understands at the same time.
Those mistakes haunt him harder whenever he sees a flash of blonde hair and all he can think is KateEricaKateErica in some sort of tangled rush of guilt and love and hate because he should have killed one of them and he would have died for the other.
When he sees someone tall and strong, sees broad shoulders, or someone with a small almost secretive smile on their face all he can do is remember the way Boyd had felt on his claws, the way his strongest/best beta had been noble and grand even as he died.
He had bitten four teenagers, a part of him whispers that he should have only bitten one, that one would have been all he needed if it was the right one, and he knows now that is where he made his mistake. Still it had been the only choice he had, the only way to safeguard himself and others against the danger of a pack-less Alpha.
Children were too young and the thought of taking that choice away from someone that young made Derek sick to his stomach.
Adults were often too old and were more likely to die than to change.
Teens had seemed like the right answer, the right mix of youth and maturity and strength needed to survive the bite.
So he'd watched and he'd waited and he'd done his homework.
A mouthy, desperate orphan with a family, a defective and determined girl, an abused but loving boy, and a lonely giant with no way out and a shadow on his heart that Derek could see from miles away.
He'd thought he'd picked well, had thought that he could maybe build a pack with them, a family of misfits created just for them. He’d thought that like would call to like and they would be able to give each other what they all needed. That they’d help fill in the spots inside of him that were still open and raw and lined with ash.
So he'd approached them and he knows now that he was power drunk to some degree, arrogant with the flush of new strength. But above all of that he'd been lonely, lonely and tired of being alone and he'd finally had the power to change that for the first time in so long. He'd wanted brothers and sisters, wanted someone who could love him and trust him, someone who would fight for and with him like Laura had, like Cora had, like all of the Hale Pack had for generations.
Still he'd told them the dangers, told them about hunters and the moon, about the chance that they might not even make it that far.
He'd done his best to warn them, to tell them, but they'd all taken it anyways, looked at him with want in their eyes, begged and pleaded for the bite.
So he'd given it to them and then watched as his whole dream fell down around his feet.
But he was an Alpha, their Alpha, and he'd tried his best to do what he could. But between hunters and monsters both boy and snake shaped alike and uppity little beta's who were determined to paint him a villain instead of a brother he'd been lost, thrown out to sea and desperately clinging to what little he could do.
Then, afterwards, he'd been one beta down and the Alpha Pack had already begun to try and run him to ground.
Now, months later, he knows he made mistakes, knows he isn't perfect and is so very tired of everything seemingly tracing back to him.
So tired of everyone blaming him for everything.
He knows he's fucked up. Sometimes he can't get the scent of Kate's perfume or the sight of the ring he'd given her laying by the burnt out remains of his home and his heart out of his mind. Now Jennifer joins in and taunts him in the back of his head, makes him remember the feel of her under his hands even when he sits in the shower, water freezing as he holds his breath and tries to almost kill himself and focus all at the same time.
He knows it's stupid, knows it doesn't work like that but he doesn't have a tub and he doesn't have anyone to hold him under or to bring him out Stiles comes to mind but doesn't count because Stiles had held him up once, had helped him over and over and Derek doesn't want to ask him for more unless he has to, doesn't want to watch Stiles turn from him too and all he wants is some sort of sign that he's not that easy to manipulate.
So he knows he has made mistakes, old ones and new ones, but he just wished that for once everything wasn't his fault.
Derek is smart, he's read Keats and Poe and Jules Verne. He can do complex math without paper and knows all about McCarthyism and a million other subjects. He was premed in college after Laura finally forced him to go. He was going to work in pediatrics, was going to spend his days somewhere where everyone was young and innocent and worth saving.
So Derek is smart and he cannot help but wonder sometimes why everyone in this fucking town blames him for shit that clearly traces back to other origins. Peter, Gerard, fucking Kali and Deucalion.
He can't help but wonder, staring down at his hands and trying to ignore the way the loft is so quiet without Isaac and Peter and Cora, why no one else seems to want to realize the truth.
The Alpha’s are all gone know and Jennifer is dead and everything is as right as it can be at the moment and he’s all alone once again. Isaac is gone, trailing after Scott and Allison and sending him angry glares whenever they meet, so convinced that Derek had deceived him. Isaac had shifted his loyalty just like Peter said he would and Derek hated the way his uncle shifted between half-truths and outright lies like it was a game when Derek actually needed him for something. He was grateful though that Peter had flitted out of his life for the moment, spouting something about research and amends as he slinked away with a half-smile and a jaunty wave.
So Derek sits alone in his loft and wonders just what he has to give up before they will realize that he’s scared and lonely and that all he wants is some kind of warmth and stability.
His family is gone or as good as, he has no home, no future, and no pack now. He doesn’t even have the comforting blanket of power to fall back on, the warm rush of Alpha thrumming inside of him.
Instead he’s blue eyed and lonely and vulnerable again in some sort of strange déjà vu.
He knows he’s not the only one though, admits it with the sort of honesty that he’s been trying to cultivate with himself these past few months.
Stiles is lonely too, Derek can see it, hear it, feel it every time he sees the boy and it makes him ache. Scott is a good kid and he has the makings of a good Alpha but he isn’t there yet either and Stiles is the one that suffers for it. Derek knows he was a piss poor Alpha in the beginning but he’d been trying, had been growing, before it was all snatched away from him, his Spark given and stolen all at the same time.
Scott’s naivety, his optimism, was inspiring but it could also be damning. His determination to help everyone, his desire to do right and good by all, often meant that the few suffered for the many. In most cases that would be acceptable but when it came to Pack …. when it came to that it was supposed to be different. The Pack was supposed to be the few and the many, put before all others, placed above all else. The Pack came first as it lived or died by the Alpha’s claws and fangs, by their word and rule.
Scott doesn’t understand that yet, doesn’t see the way the love triangle he has with Isaac and Allison is hurting Stiles. Scott doesn’t see the way the boy folds in on himself sometimes, the way his hands shake and his shoulders tremble. He doesn’t see the way Lydia looks at Stiles now, all wide eyed concern and reaching hands, warmth and care in her eyes but not the kind that Stiles had once wanted from her. Jackson’s shape still stops that, still lingers around Lydia like a cloak and Derek knows that Stiles sees it too despite the way the two have grown closer. It’s in the boy’s scent, in the lack of desire and heat that was once always there around Lydia. Now Stiles just mainly smells sad and lonely, a strange mix of almost manic desperation and the growing scent of power.
Derek is glad for that, glad that the two have found each other but not in that way. Glad that he’ll never have to smell Stiles in or on Lydia like that. He’s glad because the thought makes something dark and dangerous stir in his chest, even without the Alpha there. It’s in those moments when Stiles is around that Derek wishes he was still an Alpha the most, it’s in those moments when the longing for that power hits him the hardest.
He doesn’t think he’d bite the boy, not like that anyways. His wolf wants to get his teeth into Stiles, wants to taste his blood and his sweat and feel the rabbit punch of the boy’s heartbeat against his tongue. He wants to tie Stiles to him, wants to lay claim to him and all that he is and will be. He wants all of that but he doesn’t want Stiles to change, doesn’t want him to be a wolf.
Not when he can tell that Stiles has the potential to be so much more.
Derek can see the similarities between Stiles and Deaton and Morrell, knows that one day Stiles could be like them, could be better, stronger than either of them. He can see it in Stiles, in the careful blend of light and darkness in the boy, in the ever growing scent of power that hovers around him. Derek knows that all Stiles needs is a Pack and an Alpha to bond himself to, that the right anchor would make the boy into something even more glorious to behold than he already is.
Derek wants to be that Alpha even though he knows he can’t now. He wants to be the one to nurture Stiles’ Spark until it’s a blaze even though he knows that he doesn’t have the ability to be that for Stiles anymore.
Scott could, he has the potential, but he’s taken Deaton, latched onto the man like a barnacle. Scott turns to him for all of the answers he needs even as Stiles stands frustrated and hurt in the background because he’s no longer on Scott’s radar like that when it counts.
It makes him laugh sometimes, makes him smile in the darkness when he should be sleeping, because he and Stiles are one hell of a pair.
A beta without an alpha who became an alpha without a real pack who then became a beta again and a young emissary with a larger than life Spark without either.
Stiles makes him yearn for his power back because he knows has always known even if he tried to ignore it that Stiles and he can give each other what they want, what they need.
Derek is tired of not being open with himself about that, and has finally fully embraced his desire for self-honesty. He wants Stiles, wants the boy with a dark red desire that he’s never felt before. He wants to spread him open and eat him out for hours, wants to fuck him until his hips hurt and his muscles cramp, until Stiles is bruised and so dazed with pleasure he can’t speak. He wants to tear him open and crawl inside of him, wants Stiles to do the same to him. He wants them to be so far inside of each other that no one will be able to separate them.
Derek thinks that, together, he and Stiles would be able to be all the Pack either of them might need and that anyone else who might come along would only be an added benefit.
Still, by now, Derek is used to not getting what he wants.
“I’m an emissary, or at least I think I could be.” Stiles blurts out a few days later when they’re both standing on the side of the road. Derek’s car is parked behind Stiles’ old jeep and Derek is bent over under the hood, trying to coax the thing back to life.
“I know.” Derek says while he keeps his head down and tries to keep the longing and the pain out of his voice. He knows what Stiles is, knows what he will be, and Derek wants him, wants all of him in all the ways he could possibly have him and in a few that he knows he shouldn’t think about. He waits to hear Stiles say that he’s going to belong to Scott when Scott is finally ready, waits for him to say anything like that, for him to say something that’ll send Derek’s wolf to howling in rage and pain. But when he glances over his shoulder Stiles is just staring at him, mouth open and eyes wide in a way that makes Derek want to bite.
“You knew?” Stiles whispers when Derek finally straightens up.
“I’ve always known Stiles.” Derek sighs, wipes his hands on the rag he carries in the tool kit in his trunk even as he slams the jeep’s hood closed and prepares to leave. “I knew it the moment I looked at you, that you were something other, something …. special.” Derek doesn’t let himself look at Stiles again after that, just grabs his tools and goes back to his car where he tosses them in the trunk and slams it closed. He can’t look at Stiles, not then, not in that moment when Stiles looks so soft and open and vulnerable. If he does the thin thread of control that’s kept him in line for so long might not make it.
He’s in the driver seat of his car, door closed and window down, about to take off, when Stiles finally seems to get over his shock enough to say something.
“Why-Why didn’t you tell me?”
Derek looks at Stiles then, lets the mirror of his shades hide the way his eyes rake over the boy’s form in too big pants and layers of shirts. He is used to the way want curls in his stomach, the way longing snakes its way around his heart and squeezes before he shuts it down and away. He feels a wave of sadness and something vaguely like anger welling up inside of him. He’s so tired of this shit, of feeling guilty and like all the blame is his to take and carry. “Would you have believed me if I did Stiles? Or would that have been one more thing I could get blamed for?”
He guns the car and takes off before Stiles can say anything but he watches in the rearview mirror as the boy take a few steps after his car like he might give chase before he stops himself and turns back to his jeep. Derek keeps driving but he does slow to a stop and idle on the side of the road around the corner and out of Stiles’ sight until he hears the jeep start and rumble down the road in the opposite direction. Even now he doesn’t have it in him to leave Stiles out there alone and completely unprotected.
He goes home that night and stares at the vial of wolfsbane that he keeps in a lock box and wonders if there is a way for him to do what Peter did and die and come back changed.
He pushes the thoughts away because he could never use someone like Peter did Lydia and he knows that if he did die right now the chances of someone wanting him to live again that badly were slim to none.
There’s a knock and Derek, fresh from the shower with thoughts of tacos and sleep on his mind, curses and wrenches it open roughly.
He’s shocked to see Stiles there on the other side, looking worse for the wear. His face is tear streaked and flushed and Derek can see the way his lower lip is split, the way Stiles has bitten into it deep enough to make it bleed. The smell of his blood makes Derek tense for a second, wraps him in a haze of lust that threatens to overpower him. It’s only way he can smell Stiles’ desperation underneath the blood that snaps him out of it.
“Stiles? What’s wrong? What’s happened?” He’s immediately tense, immediately alert and wary because something is obviously wrong and he’s not as strong as he used to be. He’ll be as strong as Stiles needs him to be though, will do it or die trying.
“N-Nothing. Fuck! Nothing like that. I just … I just needed to get out and my feet took me here. I’m sorry…I’ll-I’ll leave. I don’t know why I came here.” Stiles runs a shaking hand through his hair and Derek follows the motion with his eyes before he catches himself and focuses on the way Stiles is turning to go.
“No. It’s alright. Just, stop and tell me what’s wrong.” Derek might not be an Alpha anymore but he still wants to help Stiles, wants to do for Stiles what Stiles has done for him. He still wants to protect and provide and fuck he did not need to think that way about Stiles.
“My Dad thought I was a serial killer.” Stiles says and the words catch Derek off guard. He’s standing at the door of his loft, towel tossed over a bare shoulder as he stares at Stiles fidgeting in his doorway. Stiles looks tired, big black circles under his eyes, cheekbones sharp and face looking too thin and hollow. His hair is wild in a way that makes Derek’s palms itch with want, with the need to tangle his fingers in the mess and put Stiles where he wants him.
Instead Derek backs up and watches as Stiles matches him step for step like he always does and shuts the door behind him. Stiles fidgets, twists his fingers in his over shirt and for a second looks everywhere but actually at Derek. “That’s why I wasn’t by sooner … he knows now, knows I wasn’t telling him a lie, knows that everything is real. He finally told me what he really thought was going on and we fought. He thought …. Derek he thought…”
The desperate, breaking sadness Derek can see in Stiles’ face and hear in his voice does him in. He knows that he should send Stiles home, that he should turn him away or call Scott or something because this isn’t going to end well for him but he can’t bring himself to do it. He’s tired of pretending that he doesn’t care, pretending has never gotten him anywhere. He isn’t an Alpha now, doesn’t have to be more responsible than normal, doesn’t have a Pack to care for and keep safe. He doesn’t really have anything left to lose now so Derek does what he wants to for the first time in a long time.
He lets the towel slip off of his shoulder and to the floor even as he reaches out and wraps his fingers around the sharp jut of Stiles’ shoulder and pulls him into his arms. Stiles stiffens for a moment, goes tense and nervous and sharp smelling, but then it’s gone and he’s all long limbs and warm body as he lets his forehead rest against Derek’s shoulders even as his arms come up and wrap around his waist in a loose hug. Derek holds him close with an arm wrapped around his shoulder even as he given in and tangles the fingers of his other hand deep in Stiles’ messy hair.
“I’ve got you Stiles. I’ve got you. It’s alright I promise, it’s alright.” He rocks Stiles in place, lets the boy cry heartbreakingly silent tears against his shoulder. A part of Derek is almost viciously glad that this is happening, that Stiles came to him for whatever reason, that he trusts Derek enough to do this in front of him. He doesn’t like to see Stiles in pain, but he dislikes the thought of not being there to see Stiles hurt even more.
They don’t say much after that, Derek stands in the middle of his loft and holds Stiles together as he falls apart. He rocks him back and forth, whispers low words of comfort in his ear and then hums a half forgotten lullaby that he remembers always calmed him down when his dad would sing it, low and husky, during his early moons.
Stiles leans against him the entire time, lets Derek take his weight and hold him up in a way that no one has trusted Derek enough to do for years. When he finally calms down Stiles doesn’t pull back at once, instead he stays there for a beat and then he lightly, oh so carefully, nuzzles his nose into the crook of Derek’s neck. The gesture cuts Derek to the quick, makes his eyes flash blue and his teeth lengthen in his mouth with the need to bite and claim and keep.
He forces the change back and down and just tucks Stiles closer to him, lets the boy burrow into his natural heat.
Eventually he notices Stiles’ breathing go steady and deep and he’s shocked and worried when he realizes the boy is asleep on his feet. Stiles must be exhausted, on the verge of collapse to fall asleep like that, so silent and still and sudden that Derek had barely noticed the change.
Derek debates over what to do, but when he looks down and sees the way Stiles is tucked against him so trustingly, so temptingly, Derek doesn’t have the heart to wake him.
So instead he carefully lifts Stiles up and takes him to the bed and he lays him down slowly, gently. The loss of his warmth makes Stiles’ nose crinkle and his face tighten and Derek is quick to smooth a hand over Stiles’ forehead in reassurance. The way he nuzzles into Derek’s palm makes his heart stutter and Derek is careful to keep a hand pressed to Stiles’ skin even as he undresses Stiles down to his tee-shirt and boxers.
Derek wants to strip him all the way down. He wants to curl up against Stiles’ naked back, wants to run his fingers and his tongue across every inch of him. He wants to touch and taste and take. He wants to cover Stiles with his scent and his marks.
Derek thinks about it, wavers for a too long moment and imagines what it would be like.
He might not be an Alpha anymore but even without his wolf he’d still be stronger than Stiles. He could slice the clothes off of him slowly with a claw, could have him naked and helpless in seconds. He could flip Stiles over and bury his tongue in him before Stiles even knew what was happening, could hold him down and lick him open no matter how hard Stiles fought. He could slide up his back, latch his teeth on the back of Stiles’ neck and fuck him until neither of them could move.
He could do all of that and more, could take Stiles and run and keep him fucked out and weak for days, weeks, forever. He could keep him, could train him. Derek could make it to where Stiles’ entire life revolved around him, until Stiles didn’t know how to function without Derek by his side, in him, on him, dominating every aspect of his life and his body.
And Goddess help him but Derek can’t suppress the shiver of want that runs through him at the thought of owning Stiles.
It takes him a few minutes but he shakes the thoughts off because Derek knows he’ll never do that to Stiles. He’ll never take the choice from him like that, will never do anything like that to Stiles, will never hurt him like that or make Stiles hate him like that.
Eventually Derek slides into the bed and under the covers beside Stiles because he’s still too weak to not give himself something in this moment. He pulls Stiles close, cocoons him in his warmth and lets himself bask in the feeling of warmth and closeness, the sense of his his his want want want need. He runs his lips across the vulnerable skin of Stiles’ nape, lets his tongue peek out and gently lave the flesh for a second. He has to stop, has to clinch his teeth and shift his hips back as his cock goes long and hard in his pants at the way Stiles taste like warm youth and cinnamon power.
His own breathing is ragged when he finally gets himself under control, when he finally convinces himself to just enjoy the feel of being close to Stiles like this. He sighs, low and long, and buries his face in the back of Stiles’ hair and bites down on his lower lip to keep the whine he can feel rising in his chest from spilling out.
He doesn’t mean to fall asleep, he intends to just revel in Stiles and his warmth, but he’s more relaxed than he’s been in years and it catches up with him. He drifts away with his body wrapped around Stiles and when he dreams it’s filled with heat and need and sense of completeness that he hasn’t felt since fire stole his entire life away.
Derek opens his eyes the next morning and turns towards the opposite side of the bed, fangs long and claws extended because he’s suddenly aware that Stiles is gone and he is desperate to find and keep and protect. The note that rests on the pillow that still smells like Stiles shampoo is the first thing he sees but it takes him a moment to really register its existence.
When he’s calm enough to read it he pick it up between his claws carefully and Stiles’ surprisingly tidy scrawl greets him.
I had to go and you were dead to the world. Didn’t have the heart to wake you. Normally I’d have sleeping wolf jokes or something but I think the only thing I want to say for once is thank you. You saved me last night man, just like you always try to.
-Your friendly neighborhood Stiles
Ps. Stay safe.
Derek stares at the note, traces the tip of a slowly retreating claw over the looping curve of the ‘s’ in Stiles’ last few words. He sits in the middle of the bed for a long moment and then lets himself fall back against the mattress with a grunt before he rolls and buries his face in the pillow beside his own, chasing Stiles’ scent in the cotton.
He almost doesn’t realize it when his hips begin to roll, when he begins to rub the length of his hardened cock against the sheets and the mattress beneath him. His head is full of Stiles’ scent, with memories of his heat and how he’d felt in his arms, of how he’d looked curled up in Derek’s sheets, in his bed, safe and comfortable like he belonged.
He comes with his teeth buried in the pillow like he wants to bury them in the back of Stiles’ neck as he holds him still and fucks him out.
And if, hours later when Derek has come more times than he can count and the scent has finally faded some, Derek gets out of bed and tucks the note into his wallet behind a picture of him and Laura?
Well that’s his business.
It’s almost like that first night broke some kind of barrier between them because Stiles is back a few nights later. His face is wane, his hands are shaking and his feet are tapping out an uneven rhythm. He’s unsteady and more jittery than Derek has ever seen him as he paces outside Derek’s door.
Derek doesn’t even hesitate this time, just wraps a hand around Stiles’ shoulder and pulls him inside and against his chest again. He shuts the door with his foot and shuffles Stiles towards the bed. Stiles goes without protest. He sheds his shoes and socks and strips down until he’s in a pair of sleep pants like Derek’s and an overly large black shirt that looks suspiciously familiar to Derek, body calming slowly as they move together.
Derek doesn’t waste time angsting or debating, he just pulls Stiles closer, safe and secure in the knowledge that Stiles will tell him if he doesn’t like it, if Derek hurts in in a bad way or if he’s uncomfortable. If there’s one thing that Derek is sure of it’s that Stiles will always tell him the truth.
He hears Stiles let out a shuddering sigh, feels his body go lax against him as the tension seeps out of his limbs. He hums low in his throat, rubs his jaw against the side of Stiles’ neck, lets his stubble turn the skin there pink even as Stiles shudders against him before he buries his face in Stiles’ hair again and takes a deep breath.
“Talk again? I like your voice.” Stiles says, low and sweet and slightly embarrassed. Derek feels warmth twine its way through him because no one has ever said that to him before.
“What do you want me to say?” He wants to do this right, wants to give Stiles what he wants.
“Anything, everything. Just … just talk so I don’t have to anymore, I’m so tired of talking when no one ever listens to me.” Stiles says to him, older than his years and just as tired.
So Derek talks, nonsense stuff like papers he did in school and the time Laura put a fucking scorpion in his shower, or the time he put glitter in all of her shampoo and lotion. He talks more than he has in years, talks until Stiles’ breathing has evened out and he’s burrowed back into Derek’s heat. Derek talks until he can’t anymore, until the lure of sleep is too great to pass up.
And even then he talks in his dreams, just talks and talks and talks.
All because Stiles asked him to.
Sometimes Derek is almost afraid of what he would do, of what he could do, if Stiles asked him to.
After that it’s a regular thing.
Stiles shows up on Derek’s door step every other day or so, always exhausted and barely together. Derek wraps his arms around him and takes them both to bed where he does whatever Stiles asks him to do.
Sometimes it’s more talking, sometimes it’s silence, or humming, or rubbing a hand up and down Stile’s back as he buries his nose in the hollow of Derek’s throat. Sometimes he listens as Stiles talks, as he fights back his tears and tells him how his dad believes him now but that the trust is still gone, that the man looks at him now like he doesn’t know what Stiles is. He lets it slip that Deaton has been helping him to learn of his duties as an emissary and that Scott is dead set on following Deaton’s guidance. That his best friend already has an emissary and doesn’t need Stiles
Stiles whispers to Derek late at night about how he learns from Deaton but doesn’t trust him, not even after all that’s happened. Stiles confesses that he can’t trust Deaton, can’t trust someone who could survive the massacre of the Pack he’d pledged himself to and then let the two remaining healthy members disappear without him.
Stiles tells Derek in stops and starts that if he had a Pack and an Alpha to pledge to that he’d never leave them, that he’d never abandon his duty or his family. That he’d die, he’d kill and destroy and do whatever he had to in order to keep them safe or to follow after them, to keep from being left behind.
Derek clenches his eyes closed and fights back the change, fights back the howls of rage and longing that are welling up inside of him because he wants that, wants Stiles to be his in all ways. Wants it like he wants to breathe.
Derek can’t help the way he scents Stiles slowly and carefully that night, the way he rubs his nose and cheeks against Stiles’ face, the way he lips at the back of his neck and runs his claws lightly over the skin of Stiles’ stomach. He wants his scent on Stiles, wants to mark him like that at least, to ward off anyone else who might try to take him away from Derek.
Stiles lets him.
Goddess Stiles lets him.
They see each other more and more after that. The days and nights blurring together until Stiles is at Derek’s more than he is at his own house.
Derek doesn’t push him for answers, but he can smell the sadness on Stiles, has heard the silence in Stiles’ house on the nights he can’t help but follow the boy home and stand in the shadows beneath his window.
The Sheriff is gone more often than not now, Scott’s scent around the house is stale and old, and Stiles is alone so much and in so many ways.
Derek is at once furious that the others are so fucking stupid but he’s also grateful because he gets Stiles while they are all busy being idiots.
Their touches get more frequent after that night too, more in depth and personal. Derek trails his fingers over Stiles’ lips, lets his palms cup the balls of Stiles knees, runs sharp tips claws lightly up the sensitive stretch of his inner thighs. Stiles rubs his face against Derek’s chest, nuzzles and lips at the underside of Derek’s jaw and wraps his legs around Derek’s thigh as he sleeps at night. Derek relishes the way Stiles breathes in sharply and his scent bursts with arousal as Derek touches him in the darkness of the loft with hands that grow slowly bolder. But still neither of them try to take it further, try to make it more than the slowly deepening kind of worship that it is.
“I wish I was still an Alpha.” Derek confesses to Stiles lowly one night when they’re wrapped up in each other in the bed that’s quickly becoming theirs.
“Why?” Stiles asks him and Derek loves him in that moment for asking and not assuming. Stiles destroys him effortlessly sometimes, wrecks his control in small ways. So Derek tells him the truth.
“Because,” Derek whispers against the shell of Stiles’ ear, voice low and dark and edged with the primal twist that he normally tries to keep hidden. “If I was an Alpha again I would make you mine, I would tie you to me. You would be my emissary and I would be your Alpha and together we would be all the Pack we could ever need.”
“Do you mean that?” Stiles asks him sharply, surprising Derek with the way he sits up and twists in Derek’s hold until they are nose to nose. “Do you mean that Derek?”
“Yeah, always have even if I didn’t say anything. I should have done it when I had the chance, should have made you mine, tied you down to a Pack so no one could take you away, so Scott could never have you.” Derek tells him, voice going sharp and hard at the thought of Stiles belonging to anyone but him.
“Scott …. Scott doesn’t want me. He has Deaton and Allison and fucking Isaac.” Stiles practically bit the words out, bitterness apparent in his tone. Derek holds him a bit tighter and lets him talk. “Scott doesn’t want me and I-I don’t think I want Scott. Not like that. He’s my brother and I’d die for him Derek, you know that, but I want someone who I want to live for. I want an Alpha who makes me stronger and lets me make them stronger too, someone who’ll work with me not keep me in the dark.” Stiles sounds fierce and Derek can see that it’s an old argument from somewhere.
“I’m a beta again Stiles but if I wasn’t … if I wasn’t I’d be better this time around, you’d make me better, make me want to be better. I know I’m not perfect but if I was an Alpha again … I’d fight to be worthy of you, to earn your trust and dedication as an emissary.” Derek lets it all come spilling out, all of the thoughts he’s kept back that he thinks Stiles can handle at the moment. “I’d do whatever I had to do to make you mine.”
“Alright.” Stiles looks at him, takes a deep breath and lets it out in a shaky exhale. “Alright.”
Then Stiles’ mouth is on his, tongue sweeping into Derek’s mouth like he’s trying to stake a claim of his own. Derek is the one to gentle it despite the way he wants to let his fangs and claws grow, the way he wants to sink them into Stiles until he can taste his blood, a craving he’s never had with anyone else.
He’s the one who pulls back an inch or so despite Stiles’ attempts to keep him close. He sweeps his tongue lightly across the seam of Stiles’ lips in coaxing apology. Stiles responds instantly, eagerly, and meets the slick, hot slide of Derek’s tongue with his own. Derek’s stubble rasps against Stiles’ face and Derek knows the skin is going to be pink and tender and it sends a small thrill of satisfaction through him.
Stiles breaks the kiss slowly, lingers and plants small soft butterfly kisses against the corner of Derek’s mouth before he pulls back. Derek blinks up at Stiles a bit dazedly for a moment, mind still focused on how much he wants to taste Stiles all over, how he wants to bathe him in his scent so everyone will know who he belongs to. Stiles just smiles down at him radiantly.
“So,” Stiles asks, grin making him look less tired and brighter than Derek has seen in some time, “how do you feel about banshee?”
That’s how Lydia becomes a fixture in Derek’s life as well, a perfectly dressed, scarily smart queen of a girl that reminds him so much of Laura it makes him ache.
She swans around the loft like she owns it but her attitude is more amusing than annoying.
Derek has to admit that he feels that way mainly due to the fact that Stiles is still as touchy with him as before. He still huddles into Derek’s side on the low slung couch that Derek picked up a while back, still sleeps curled into his warmth at night, and has taken to filching Derek’s t-shirts to wear. Derek is constantly half hard now because Stiles’ smells like him, smells like he belongs to Derek and all Derek wants to do is fuck him until it’s true.
Lydia stares at the two of them with a softness in her eyes even as she tears through Derek’s loft, a whirlwind of high heels and perfectly coiffed hair as she redecorates. Derek lets her have her way, fetches and carries and shifts the furniture a thousand times because it makes her happy and that makes him almost happy as well.
It feels almost like Pack, like family and his.
That, of course, is when it all goes to shit.
It’s hunters because it’s Derek’s life and it’s always fucking hunter. Big, heavily armed sons of bitches that have heard that one of Talia Hale’s whelps is alive and kicking in the old territory. The Hale fire was big news in many circles and it’s caused Derek more problems than seems possible for one lifetime.
Everything is relatively fine for a while. Derek gets shot twice and has to have Stiles draw the poison out and Lydia makes one of the hunters bleed from his eyes with the power of her voice. Stiles is a thing of dark beauty, so much so that even Lydia is almost reluctantly impressed. He comes to Derek’s loft, a grin on his face and a thick bat in his hand.
When Derek quirks an eyebrow at his weapon of choice Stiles only grins, that sharp, dark grin that Derek loves so much and rarely see, the one that echoes the darkness inside him.
“This baby is a whole lot different than the bat I used at the hospital. Let’s just say it won’t break so easily. Oh and I wouldn’t touch it if I were you.”
Then he takes Derek’s breath away when he pulls a deep, Alpha red hood from his bag, the word Hale printed across the back above a black triskelion. Derek sucks in a sharp breath as Stiles pulls it over his head, feels his eyes glow and his claws burst out at the sight of Stiles willingly wearing his name and his symbol.
“Maybe it’s cheesy and campy but this is me, making a statement Derek, picking a side.” Stiles tells him softly, amber eyes bright and shining with what Derek almost thinks of as an animal of Stiles’ own, something deadly and quick, sharp witted and dangerous. “This is me, telling everyone that you are my Alpha, my Pack, no matter what color your eyes are.”
Derek kisses Stiles this time, presses him up against the wall and ravages his mouth, steals Stiles’ breath and keeps going until his knees are shaking.
“You’re mine Stiles, now, forever, for as long as you’ll have me and as long as I can keep you.” Derek tells him when they finally pull apart.
“Forever Derek, I’d pledge myself to you, make a Pack with you if I could.” Stiles says and then he pushes at Derek’s shoulders, forces him to back up a step in surprise as Stiles slides to the floor on his knees in front of Derek.
Derek growls, low and long in his throat and tangles his hand in Stiles’ hair. Then he groans as Stiles mouths at his zipper, mouth hot and wet on thick line of his cock through the denim.
Derek is reaching for his zipper, when the approaching sound of Lydia’s heartbeat stops him. He groans again, this time a sound of frustration as he buck his hips up into Stiles’ face before he moves his hand and steps back and away. The fact that Lydia is almost at the door is the only thing that keeps Derek from taking Stiles down to the floor, from eating him open and fucking him out, from filling him up and making him spill over with Derek’s come as he sobs on his knot and begs him to stop.
A part of him is almost willing to do it anyways, is almost willing to ignore Lydia. It’s only the jealously that roars through him at the idea of anyone else seeing what Stiles looks like in that kind of moment that stops him.
He manages to get Stiles up and away from the door seconds before Lydia sails in but he knows it doesn’t matter when she takes one look at them both and tisks at them.
“Honestly? On the floor, right out in the open at two on a Saturday afternoon? I approve.” Lydia smirks and pats Stiles on the head and busses Derek on the cheek as she sweeps by them. Derek smiles and watches her go, catches a glint of metal at her wrist and can’t help the way that smile turns into a grin at the sight of the wide, silver, triskelion hanging from her bracelet.
He feels happy and warm and so of course that afternoon Stiles gets shot.
And once again, according to Scott and his merry two, it’s all Derek’s fault.
Derek is angry, so bitterly angry, and Lydia is barely any better. Stiles was hurt, was bleeding and wounded in the next room and all Scott could do was rage at him about talking and peaceful negotiations and how Derek’s not the Alpha anymore.
“You think I don’t know that?! You think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t remember that fact? I wish I was still the fucking Alpha of this town so I’d be strong enough to be able rip the head off of the sons of bitches who shot Stiles.” Derek can feel himself losing control, can feel the way his hold on the change is slipping. Stiles is hurt, is injured, all because he’d been with Derek, all because he’d chosen to stand by his side. Derek is tired of losing people just because of who he is.
“Derek, go. He’ll want you and I’ll handle these three.” Lydia sneers from beside him and Derek…Derek goes. He doesn’t want nor need to deal with this shit right now and somewhere along the way he realized that he trusts Lydia. Maybe it started first because Stiles trusted her but now it’s because he knows her, can see in her all of the greatness that had so attracted Stiles for so long.
He hears Lydia begin to talk behind him, hears her voice go sweet and yet high pitched, the tell-tale screech of her kind laying just beneath the surface. “You say one more word to me and Stiles’ Alpha McCall and we’ll test out just how fast your eardrums heal. Unless you’ve suddenly developed some sort of great master plan that doesn’t involve working with the goddamn hunters I suggest you back the fuck off! All of you! None of this was Derek’s fault and when Stiles wake up he’ll tell you the same thing.”
Derek tunes her out as best he can after that and concentrates on Stiles, laying pale and still on the hospital bed. He stays by his side, leeches away as much of his pain as he can, refuses to move even when the Sheriff shows up and stares at him with confusion and no small amount of distrust and anger.
Derek doesn’t really care, because as much as he knows Stiles adores his father Derek would level the hospital before he’d leave Stiles’ side.
In the end Stiles wakes up, weak and angry and worried, and Derek is so relieved he can barely breathe. The hunters are taken care of thanks to an angry Sheriff and a detailed description by Stiles of the four men who chased him through the woods while he was out for a walk with Lydia and Derek. They both back up his story instantly because while the Sheriff knows the truth the rest of the department needs a reasonable explanation.
Between the fact that Stiles is the Sheriff’s son and Lydia’s parents both have more money than God no one bats an eye when the arrests are made.
The minute the three of them are alone Derek and Stiles are kissing, mouths eating at each other desperately as Lydia looks on in amused approval.
“I’m sorry Stiles. I’m sorry. You got hurt and I couldn’t stop it. I’m sorry.” Derek repeats it over and over again, kisses it into Stiles’ mouth and whispers it into the vulnerable curve of his throat.
“Derek, Derek!” Stiles gets his attention with the way he raises a hand and cups Derek’s cheek. “It’s not your fault, none of it is. You didn’t do anything but help Derek. You and Lydia saved me.”
“If…if I was still as strong as I was, if I was a real Alpha I could have gotten to you Stiles, I would have been fast enough. I would have…I would have been able to help.” He chokes it out against the side of Stile’s throat, teeth nipping at the tender skin there.
“Shh Derek, shh. I told you, we both told you, you are our Alpha, eye color or not. That’s all that matters to us and it should be all that matters to you.” Stiles runs his hand through Derek’s hair as Derek fights the urge to sob and scream all at the same time.
Derek wants to believe him but he’s so tired of failing and seeing Stiles in the hospital, hurt and pale?
That feels like failure.
Two months or so later and Stiles is mostly healed, only a scar and a slight ache left thanks to a combination of his own magic and Derek constantly siphoning off his pain.
Despite that Derek can’t help but be careful with him and Lydia both, constantly aware of the fact that he’s weaker than he should be but stronger than he once was. He has a pack but he isn’t an Alpha, not really and the power gap is all too apparent.
He compensates by being overprotective as much as they will allow him to be. He drives them both to school when he can, patrols the town on the nights they’re all apart, creeps into their windows and checks on them while they sleep. He practically glues himself to Stiles’ side every opportunity he gets.
He corners a boy in a parking lot that catcalls Lydia disrespectfully one day while they’re out and barely keeps from snapping the kid’s neck despite the way Lydia seems amused and unaffected by the whole thing. He buys her an expensive pair of heels and the latest copy of every advanced mathematics journal he can find as an apology for losing his temper. She coos at him and calls him adorable and he can’t even bring himself to get irritated at her because she doesn’t tell him to stop, doesn’t tell him she doesn’t want his protection.
So it’s only natural that he flips out, eyes shining blue and a snarl ripping out of his throat when he catches the scent of Stiles’ and Lydia’s blood when he comes home to the loft. The bags in his hand hit the ground, the food Stiles sent him out for left forgotten on the floor as he takes off.
He makes it to the kitchen on a run and when he skids to a halt, claws extended and half crouched, ready to fight, ready to kill for what is his, he is surprised to see Lydia and Stiles at the kitchen table staring at him in surprise, books and herbs and various other things spread out across the table.
The scent of their blood is coming from the old fashioned glass goblet that is sitting in the middle of the table. It’s half full of something dark and viciously red that Derek immediately knows is more than just blood.
“What did you do?” He rasps out and Stiles is the one who moves. He reaches out, picks up the goblet, and makes his way toward Derek slowly, eyes bright with something almost otherworldy but movements cautious.
“Do you trust us Derek? Do you trust us not to hurt you?” Stiles asks him quietly and Derek can feel Lydia’s laser stare on him as well.
At one point in his life the answer would have been an automatic no. But now, now Derek has learned that he has nothing else to lose except for the two of them
“Yes. With anything, everything.” He answers the question like he’s making a pledge.
“Then drink this.” Stiles holds the goblet out to Derek.
Derek looks at it for a moment, reaches out and takes it in his hand, and downs it in one long hard swallow.
The effects are immediate.
His hand spasms, the goblet falls and shatters at his feet. He feels like he’s being burned from the inside out, like he’s being taken apart and remade. Like everything he is and was is slowly being rearranged.
He remembers feeling like this one other time, remembers how it had felt to have his Alpha-hood stripped from him.
But this is different because after the fire comes the ice, a sharp biting chill that makes his bones ache and his lungs feel heavy and strained with every breath.
It hurts, hurts more than anything he’s ever felt, hurts enough to send him to his knees amongst the broken glass. But Derek trusts Stiles, trusts Lydia, so he just leans into the palm Stiles lays on his cheek and lets the pain wash over him and then away.
Just as quickly as it began it stops and there’s a brief second of stillness and then Derek feels the power explode inside of him, feels it rush through him and change him.
He feels the exact moment it reaches his eyes, feels the moment it stains them red, feels the exact moment he becomes an Alpha again.
“What did you do? H-How?” He can barely speak, can barely think but luckily for him Lydia takes over.
“It would only work if you trusted us, if you were willing to live and die for us, like a true Alpha. You had the potential the entire time Derek but it was blocked, locked away. Stiles found this magic and we worked it together, gave you something from each of us to unlock that power for you. To turn you back into the Alpha that we already knew you were.” Lydia states softly but sincerely.
“Gave me something? What did you do? The blood, how much did you use?” Derek chooses to focus on what he can deal with for the moment because he can’t yet believe that they have done this, that they have given him this.
“It had to be something that was unique to each of us, something that only we could give you.” Stiles gestured to Lydia who tilted her head up and removed the choker Derek had just noticed from around her throat. There is a thin line, a barely visible cut, across her jugular. “Lydia gave to you from her throat, a banshee’s cry is her most prized possession and deadliest weapon after all.”
Derek is at a loss for words but Lydia just smiles, re-hooks her necklace and tilts her chin towards Stiles.
“And you? What….what did you give me?” Derek asks his boy.
“The only thing I could.” Stiles steps back, reaches down and pulls his shirt over his head. Derek can see the cut instantly, it’s small but deep and directly over his heart. “I’m an emissary Derek, a Spark, and that’s centered in the heart. I figured my Spark was big enough for the both of us, for all of us, so I’d be your Spark as well.”
Derek is speechless for a moment, he clenches his eyes closed, feels the rush of power inside of him and when he speaks his voice is low and raspy and filled with heat.
“Thank you, both of you. But Lydia I’m going to fuck Stiles until he can’t walk now and I’m not sure how you’ll feel about seeing that.” Derek rasps out, watches at Stiles’ face goes crimson and arousal burst in both his and Lydia’s scents.
“Do it. I’ll stay if it’s all the same. We’re Pack after all and I wouldn’t want to miss such a monumental moment.” Lydia purrs, voice husky and amused.
Derek is moving then, he rises to his feet smoothly even as his hands are busy pulling off his shoes and socks as Stiles scrambles to do the same. They’re both shirtless and panting lightly when he starts talking, Derek can’t help himself really.
“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to lay you down and spread you out. To cover every inch of you with my tongue and to eat you out until you’re sloppy and open and waiting for me to fill you up. I want to watch you shake apart under my hands and my mouth. I want to make you twitch and mewl on my cock until all you can do is come and beg for more.” Derek moves forward, stalks closer to Stiles slowly, eyes shining red and fangs slightly long in his mouth. He can still taste the potion they’d given him and it makes him hotter knowing that Stiles’ blood was in it, that now a bit of Stiles was inside of him like that, fueling his power, lighting him up inside.
“After that I want to tie us together and make us both come over and over again until neither of us can anymore. Then I want to do it all over again. I know you’d look perfect drenched in my come, saturated with my scent until everyone knows who you belong to, who your Alpha is. You have no idea how bad I want that, how bad I’ve wanted it since the moment I first saw you in the woods back when I was still a real beta.” Derek stops when they are chest to chest, leans down so his tongue can trace the shell of Stiles’ ear and then down the long slope of his neck until Derek can press his teeth against the curve of Stiles’ neck just hard enough to make him gasp. When he speaks again the words slide across the skin there. “You smelt so good, so sweet and right and perfect, Stiles. Like you were made just for me. I knew the only way you’d ever smell better would be if you were mine.”
“Please. Please, Derek.” Stiles moans low and harsh in the back of his throat. His hips buck up against Derek’s, desperate for friction, for touch. Derek wants to give it to him, wants to give him everything.
“So perfect for me. Listen to you begging already and I haven’t even really touched you. Haven’t even gotten started. I can smell how bad you want it, how hard and hot you are just from me talking to you like this. I bet I could make you come, could make you spill all over yourself right now, just from this, with Lydia watching us, watching our Pack come together.” Derek pressed his teeth into the curve of Stiles’ neck again and makes a harsh pleased noise when Stiles’ head lolls back to expose his throat. “I bet I could, but I won’t. Not yet. Not like this. This time I’m going to have you on a bed, on the bed we’ve been in together so many times. Where I’ve had to hold myself back from fucking you in your sleep night after night.” Derek nips sharply at the exposed length of Stiles’ neck and then swoops down and picks him up. Derek turns and trots towards the bed, the click of Lydia’s heels on the floor set a steady rhythm as she follows behind him like the accompaniment to the symphony of his need.
Their journey to the bed takes far longer than Derek thinks it should but when they finally tumble down onto the sheets they are both flushed. Derek wastes no time in getting both of them completely naked, seams ripping and cloth flying as he tears cotton and denim away with his claws. He runs the flat of his tongue down the smooth line of Stiles’ chest until he can mouth at the cut over Stiles’ heart and then further down so he can bite at the hollow of Stiles’ hip with teeth sharp enough to make Stiles twitch.
Derek takes his time, sucks a mark into Stiles’ skin and then moves down until he can run his tongue along the crease of Stiles’ thigh. Derek stays there for a moment, nuzzles at the skin, and the tickle of his stubble makes Stiles squirm. Then Derek pulls back again and turns to move but Lydia is there, a tube of lube in her hand and a smile on her face as she hands it to Derek and then retreats back to sink down into a nearby armchair.
Derek pours a bit of the slick into his palm and then tosses the tube into the sheets beside them before he urges Stiles over onto his stomach and then up onto his knees. Derek and Stiles both suck in a harsh breath as one warm, slick, clawless finger prods gently at Stiles’ hole, traces the rim and then presses slowly inside.
“I know I said I’d make you beg for it, but that’ll come later, I think.” Derek’s voice is, if anything, even more wrecked than before. “I’ll have you on your back so I can watch your eyes blow wide when I take you. So I can see the pleasure in your face when I push inside of you. But for now,” Derek presses a second finger in alongside the first as his voice goes dark, “for now I’m going to knot you like this. Gonna stretch you out and fill you up. Gonna tie you to me so you can’t get away from me, until you don’t know whether to cry or come.”
Derek slides a third slick finger deep inside of Stiles and presses, feels satisfaction arch through him at the way Stiles goes rigid as his cock jumps in pleasure and the need to come.
“Look at you. So eager, so perfect. I knew it was you from the moment I saw you, knew you were the one.” Derek pushes and Stiles’ mouth gapes open at the press of Derek’s pinkie finger when it slides against his rim, and stretches him even wider.
Stiles tangles his hands in the sheets, presses his forehead harder against the mattress and breathes deeply even as he begins to tremble. Derek leans down suddenly and runs the flat of his tongue up the line of Stiles’ spine as he pushes the four fingers deeper inside of Stiles and then pulls them back out. Stiles thrusts his hips back, pushes himself farther down onto Derek’s fingers and Derek cannot help but moan in approval.
They keep on like that for a while, a give and take, push and pull that is so good it’s almost criminal, before Derek finally takes his fingers away. Stiles moans in denial as his hips try to chase Derek’s hand, but the Alpha runs his other hand down Stiles’ back soothingly before he shifts on the mattress. Stiles sighs out softly and Derek cannot help but nose at the crook of his shoulder and place a gentle kiss there.
Stiles pushes his ass back towards Derek in response and Derek’s cock brushes against his stretched hole and he can’t wait any more, feels like he’s already waited too long to be inside of Stiles. The air rushes out of the both of them in a gasp when Derek pushes into him with one slick thrust. Stiles keens and Derek almost comes undone right there.
Derek pants harshly in his ear, trying to regain some kind of composure. Stiles tilts his head forward and latches his teeth on to the strong length of Derek’s forearm and bites down. Derek’s hips jerk in response to the sting, and the move forces him even deeper into Stiles. They both moan at the sensation and Stiles arches his back again and presses himself even closer to Derek.
“Like that, just like that, sweet. Perfect,” Derek murmurs in his ear as his hips begin to move, short shallow thrusts that slowly grow deeper and harder. Stiles tries to get a hand underneath himself, to wrap a fist around his own cock, but Derek moves suddenly, wraps one of his arms around Stiles’ waist and tugs.
They fall over onto their sides, and Derek is quick to pull one of Stiles’ legs up and over his own so he can continue to thrust up into him, deep and hard. Stiles reaches an arm up and back and wraps it around Derek’s neck. Derek catches Lydia’s eyes over the top of Stiles’ head as he feels his cock begin to thicken. Her face is flushed and her eyes are wild and Derek knows that they will do this again, that while she’ll never touch either of them like this she will always be welcome to watch. The thought flies out of his head as the base of his cock begins to swell, grows thicker and harder as the knot begins to expand.
“I thought about it, you know? That day in the woods when we first met. Thought about how it’d feel, how you’d taste and sound all fucked out and panting. I almost took you then. I wanted to knock you down and fuck you even if you didn’t want it. But I would have made you want it Stiles, I would have made you want me.” Derek swallows hard and then latches his mouth on to the side of Stiles’ neck and presses sharp teeth against the skin there. “Gonna fuck you until your mine Stiles, gonna fuck you until I’m all you ever feel.” He mummers against the skin even as the knot swells large and he can feel the heat of his orgasm rushing up to meet him.
“I want it, Derek, want to be yours, want everyone to know.” Stiles rasps out and he sounds like he’s been drugged, like he’s high and barely conscious.
Derek freezes for a second and then thrusts his hips forward sharply, and Stiles shudders as the knot presses in. They both cry out, Derek’s more of a roar than anything as he sinks sharp teeth into the crook of Stiles’ shoulder. Derek comes, spills himself deep inside of Stiles even as the knot holds fast and tight and Stiles sobs at him and presses back closer into his heat.
Derek circles his hips as best he can, relishing the feel of Stiles milking his cock, of hearing the way he sobs weakly in the aftermath of his own orgasm. He runs his tongue along the mark on Stiles’ shoulder, on the set of teeth marks meant to claim and not to turn. That was one mark that wouldn’t fade, one thing that his healing or Stiles’ magic wouldn’t take care of. A mating mark stayed no matter what. The thought of having something like that, of having something to commemorate this moment for the rest of his life, makes Derek’s breathe catch in his chest.
“Mine now, you’re mine now. My Pack, both of you. I’ll be a good Alpha this time, make you love me, make you want to stay.” Derek murmurs into Stiles’ hair, a confession of sorts said loud enough for Lydia to hear.
“You idiot.” Stiles laughs back at him, husky and tired but so very happy sounding. “I already love you, both of us do.”
“Do you honestly think I redecorate everyone’s homes, work complex magic for random people or watch just anyone fuck my best friend? You’re ours just as much as we’re yours.” Lydia says from beside them and Derek feels the bed dip as she sits down behind him and reaches up to run her hand through his hair.
Derek has to bury his sharp grin in Stiles’ hair.
He might not be perfect, he might be fucked up and haunted, might make mistakes and rash decisions left, right and center. But with Lydia and Stiles, two of the strongest, smartest, people he’s ever met …. being imperfect is sounding better every damn day.