Title: An Animal in Your Care
Pairing/Characters: pre-slash, Stiles/Derek
Summary: What are you supposed to do when an injured werewolf turns up in your bedroom?
Warnings/Spoilers: Takes place directly after 1.08 "Lunatic" and contains obvious spoilers for that and any episode prior. Obviously becomes AU after that point.
Notes: The title is from the song by Wolf Parade. Some of the lyrics are quoted at the beginning and the end because they fit with the story. I wrote this directly after watching 1.08 "Lunatic." Any resemblance this story holds to 1.09 "Wolf's Bane" is purely coincidental, as it was written before the episode aired. (But I totally called it, BTW.)
Time after time, you will forgive me
like an animal in your care.
Stiles drags himself into the house and flicks on the light. He's exhausted, really, physically and emotionally. His heart hasn't stopped racing since the moment he saw that body— that body he thought was his dad—
A low noise escapes his throat as he stumbles through the foyer and up the stairs. He'd honestly thought, if for only a fleeting moment, that his best friend had killed his father. It's a wonder he's still standing, really.
The only thing that keeps him from throwing up is the fact that it was his father who'd told him to go home. His father, alive and well, whose pulse Stiles had felt beating sturdily beneath his uniform.
Stiles climbs the stairs unsteadily, keeping a hand on the railing to keep himself upright. He's practically dead to the world as he lurches, eyes half-closed, through his bedroom door. He knocks his shoes off as he crosses the room, pulling his jacket off and tossing it over the back of his desk chair. He fumbles at the buttons on his shirt as he gets to his closet, leaning his forehead against the wall as his fingers work at the daunting task.
He doesn't hear the door to his bedroom shutting quietly.
Shrugging off his shirt, Stiles groans and rolls his shoulders back. He doesn't want to know where Scott is. He doesn't want to acknowledge the fact that he failed in the simple fucking task of keeping him in his bedroom during the full moon. He doesn't want to know if someone got hurt, if the body he saw was his best friend's doing, if everyone he knows is still breathing.
He doesn't. But he can't stop thinking about it anyway.
Stiles turns and opens his eyes.
A startled yelp escapes his lips before a hand is pressed over his mouth, containing the noise. Breathing heavily, Stiles groans and reaches up to grab Derek's wrist and pull the hand from his mouth.
"Derek?" he says, his surprise covered by his harsh whisper. "What the hell are you doing here?" It takes him a second of thought for a relieved laugh to escape him. "God, Derek, we thought you were—"
"Dead?" Derek finishes for him, taking a step backwards. "I know."
"You scared the shit outta me, man," Stiles says, practically panting. He knows, vaguely, that he must have walked right past Derek without even noticing. It's a scary thought.
"Metaphorically," Stiles continues, running a hand over his face. "And you didn't answer the question. Why are you here, in my bedroom, in the middle of the freaking night?"
"It took me a while to heal," Derek says as though he's ignoring Stiles' question, "I holed up in my car all weekend and slept it off."
"That doesn't answer the—"
"Shut up," Derek growls, and Stiles falls silent, watching him. "I can't go back home. There's a hunter waiting on my doorstep. I could smell him from a mile off."
"So you came here?" Stiles demands, waving his arms around erratically. "What about Scott's—"
"Scott almost killed two people tonight," Derek says, just as calmly. "He's lucky I was strong enough to fight him off."
"There was a body—"
"The Alpha," Derek automatically corrected, looking annoyed. "Scott didn't do anything but dent the roof of a car. He's at home. I dropped him off there after he shifted back. But his mother is there, and it's not— not a safe place, for me. It smells too much like wolf."
"Will be out all night trying to figure out what happened to the thugs the Alpha got a hold of. He's never here, anyway. This place smells like you, and you alone. Your mundane human stink will mask my smell for a while." He pauses and then smirks again, baring his teeth. "Besides, I heard it's going around town that I'm a murder. I have to lay low for a while. And where better to hide than the one place no one will look? The Sheriff's house."
Stiles sighs, and then really takes a good look at Derek. He's holding his arm close to his body, and favouring his left side— he's hurt from his fight with Scott. His clothes are a mess of dirt and leaves and dried blood. And he looked almost as tired as Stiles feels.
"Fine," Stiles agrees, crossing the room and opening his bedroom door. "You can stay here." He leaves, and when he returns, he's carrying an extra pillow and blanket from the hall closet. "But you're taking the floor."
Derek takes the bundle of bedding from Stiles, and he looks grateful— as grateful as Derek can look, anyway, as he kicks some of the dirty clothes on the floor away from him and settles down on the now-bare patch of carpet to sleep. Stiles is half expecting him to turn in circles before he lays down to sleep, but he doesn't. He stretches out lazily and pulls Stiles' blanket over himself, and then seems to immediately fall asleep.
Stiles watches him for a moment, a small smile lifting up the corners of his mouth. When he gets into bed and turns off the light, he looks over to the lump of a person sharing his room and feels not scared, like he would imagine, but almost affectionate. As much as Derek has become an annoying fixture in his life since Scott was bitten, he's glad that the werewolf isn't dead.
Stiles wakes up at an ungodly hour to the sound of Derek whimpering. It takes the drowsy teenager a minute to place the sound and when he does he's surprised, to say the least. Derek, curled in a ball near the closet, is shivering and making little noises in his sleep.
With a sigh, Stiles throws off his bedclothes and pads across the room to kneel beside his unexpected houseguest. He can see the driveway from his bedroom window and it's devoid of the cruiser, so he knows his father isn't home yet, though the sun is rising already.
"Derek?" Stiles asks quietly, trying not to startle him. He doesn't want know what the werewolf would do if he was jolted awake— rip Stiles' throat out, most likely. "Hey, Derek, wake up." He places a hand on his friend's shoulder carefully, only to withdraw it a moment later.
Derek's skin is scalding hot, so much so that the heat has soaked through his two layers of clothing and the blanket Stiles had lent him. After a moment's consideration, Stiles yanks the blanket away from Derek's body. His clothes are drenched in sweat and he smells like wet dog.
"Why is it always me?" Stiles asks no one in particular as he gets up and goes to get Derek some water from the bathroom. He almost grabs the bottle of aspirin while he's in there, but figures out very quickly that if Scott couldn't get drunk off half a bottle of Jack that a couple of pills aren't going to help Derek's fever.
When he returns to his bedroom, Derek hasn't moved an inch. Stiles puts down the glass of water to pull the shaking werewolf into a sitting position against the wall, which is easier than he thought it would be. Derek doesn't put up any resistance to Stiles' guiding hands, and even opens his eyes as Stiles leans his sweat-slick head against the blue painted wall.
"Woah, okay," Stiles mumbles as he sees Derek's eyes— bright blue and practically glowing, with the pupils blown wide and the irises ringed in red. His skin is pale, too, and the bags under his eyes have darkened. "Here, drink some water."
Stiles has to hold the glass for Derek to take a few sips of cold water, though it does seem to help. Derek's pulse is racing, and he's still way too hot to the touch when Stiles puts down the glass again, but he's managing to look scary and imposing again, so that's a little more normal.
"Must've ruptured something," he says as nonchalantly as he can muster, letting his electric blue eyes flicker closed as he leans his head back against the wall again with a thump!. "When I— fought off Scott—"
"Ruptured something? Like, an internal organ?" Stiles squeaks, wide-eyed and apprehensive. He's no doctor, of course, but even with Derek's super werewolf healing powers that doesn't sound good.
"Had a lot of internal bleeding... after the Alpha got me," Derek continues without opening his eyes. He can hear Stiles' heart racing and sighs. "I'll be... fine."
"You don't sound sure about that," Stiles points out, sitting back on his haunches and chewing at his thumb nail. It's a bad nervous habit that got him labelled as a thumb-sucker all through middle school, but he'd mostly curbed it by junior high. It comes back at times like this. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Derek cracks his eyes open and looks at the nervous teenager warily. "Only way to... help is to cool me down. Might take longer to heal, but the process will hurt less."
Stiles nods enthusiastically. "Cool you down, okay. So, like an ice pack, or— oh! A cold shower. That'll work, right?"
Derek makes a low noise of agreement at the back of his throat, and Stiles jumps up and offers him a hand. "May I show you to the bathroom, sir?" he says only a little sarcastically, and is awarded a piercing glare from Derek.
After quite a lot of shuffling around and awkward positioning, Stiles manages to help Derek hobble across the hall to the bathroom. He has one of Derek's arms draped over his shoulder and is supporting most of Derek's weight— which is more than he weighs himself and almost entirely muscle— and the heat radiating off the werewolf's body is nearly unbearable. He gently sets Derek down on the closed toilet seat and then moves to turn on the shower, setting it to the coldest setting and turning to help Derek into the tub.
Derek, who has already discarded his jacket and is struggling to pull his arms out of a sweat-soaked, skin-tight t-shirt. Stiles gulps, flashing back to the last time he saw Derek half-naked. It wasn't exactly a pleasant memory for either of them, considering Stiles was almost made to cut Derek's arm off, but the image has given him quite a few unwelcome dreams, to say the least.
"A little help here, pervert?" Derek asks, snapping Stiles from his trance. Stiles' cheeks colour and he looks away, belatedly realising that watching Derek undress isn't the straightest thing he's ever done. He's smirking, though, so Stiles doesn't feel quite as mortified.
"Uh, sure, yeah," Stiles trips over his words— and his feet— as he approaches Derek and then kneels down beside him. He helps the injured man pull his head out of the t-shirt and off the arm he can't seem to lift above his head, and then leans down to undo Derek's shoes. His blush creeps down his neck as he realises how close he is to putting his face in Derek's crotch— not that he's ever thought about it before!— and hurries to pull off his shoes and socks. Leaving Derek's jeans on seems to be the unspoken consensus.
Stiles stands and then slips under Derek's arm again, which is hotter and slick without the jacket between them. Stiles has the sudden urge to tilt his face up and kiss Derek's parted lips, but he resists because, hello! He doesn't want to get his throat ripped out. Derek's breath his hot and moist against Stiles' cheek as he helps Derek to the bathtub and carefully pulls him under the cold spray.
Stiles' shirt gets pretty much drenched as he manoeuvres Derek to a sitting position in the tub, but it's worth it to hear the pleased sigh that escapes Derek's lips. Stiles steps back and Derek leans forward against his own knees, letting the water run over him.
It's a very aesthetically appealing sight.
"I'm going to get you some dry clothes," Stiles says quickly to excuse himself, because he can feel the rise in his own pulse and Goddamnit, why must werewolves be able to smell arousal? "For when you get out."
Derek might have mumbled something in reply, but Stiles is out the door before he can hear anything of the sort. He riffles through his closet trying to find something suitable before deciding that none of the pants he owns would fit Derek properly; he's too short and stocky. So he settles on a baggy old police t-shirt that used to be his dad's and tries not to think about the fact that it's usually what he wears to bed.
He tiptoes into his father's bedroom, even though he knows that the Sheriff isn't home, and hastily grabs an old pair of track pants that he doesn't wear anymore. It's not like he'll miss them. He hardly ever wears anything but his uniform anymore.
Once his heart rate has slowed down and he feels more in control of his thoughts and feelings, Stiles returns to the bathroom and puts the clothes he brought for Derek onto the bathroom counter. The werewolf is just where Stiles' left him, sitting with his face pressed to his knees under the cold spray. He looks up when Stiles comes in. His eyes have faded back down to their usual hazel, and his skin is nowhere near as pale as before.
"You look better," Stiles comments quietly, bending down to kneel next to the tub. Derek snorts.
"...Can I get you something else? Breakfast?"
Derek almost visibly perks up at the mention of food, looking uncharacteristically interested. "I wouldn't want to impose," he says facetiously, and Stiles laughs gently.
"I can make a mean plate of scrambled eggs. And if dad actually went grocery shopping like I asked, we might even have bacon."
The way Derek's eyes light up is enough of a confirmation for Stiles, so he gets up with a groan as his knees pop and then trots out of the bathroom and down the stairs to make breakfast. It's not even six AM, but he doesn't feel quite as tired anymore.
They do have bacon, and Stiles automatically starts to fry up a panful as he gets out the eggs. He's just transferring the bacon onto a plate when he sees the flash of headlights out the front window— the cruiser.
In a panic, Stiles runs up the stairs and bursts into the bathroom, turning off the water immediately. Derek looks up at him with an unreadable expression, but then he frowns. "Your dad's on the porch," he says, and Stiles nods.
"Yeah, so— be quiet," he instructs, closing the door behind him as he runs back down the stairs and into the kitchen. He tries to act casual as he makes up two plates and deliberately piles more onto the one he plans to bring Derek. Healing internal bleeding probably works up quite the appetite.
Stiles turns and grins at his dad, who looks tired as he stands in the doorway. "Good morning, dad."
"'Morning," the Sheriff greets back, looking confused. "What are you doing up so early?"
"...Making you breakfast," Stiles says quickly, setting down his father's plate and pushing it across the counter toward him. "It's a school day, so..."
"You cooked," Sheriff Stilinski deadpans, grabbing his plate and tehn dropping exhaustedly into a chair at the table. "You made bacon and eggs?"
"Yep," Stiles says brightly, opening a drawer to get out cutlery.
"...What did you do wrong?" Stiles' father sighs as he accepts a fork and knife from his son and looks suspiciously at the food in front of him. He narrows his eyes as he gets a better look at Stiles. "And why are you all wet?"
"I didn't do anything wrong!" Stiles protests, and then looks down at his wet shirt. He got drenched helping Derek into the shower. "And I was... hot."
The Sheriff looks at him disbelievingly but digs into his breakfast nonetheless. "...Sure. I probably don't want to know anyway."
Stiles lets go of the breath he'd been holding and relaxes as he turns off the burners, preparing to bring Derek his food.
There's a noise from upstairs and both Stilinskies look up at the ceiling, alarmed for different reasons. Stiles swears under his breath and then bites down on his lower lip, hard.
"Uh, I think I'm going to take this... in my room," he says, gesturing to the plate in his hands and turning to go up the stairs.
"Stiles?" his father calls out before he makes it halfway there. Stiles turns and looks at him expectantly, his heart racing wildly.
The Sheriff looks amused. "No strays, remember?" he says, and Stiles blinks at the unexpected response.
"Find a home for him, okay? As soon as possible." He chuckles and then rubs at his eyes as Stiles stares at his father, incredulous.
"Um, yes sir?" Stiles mumbles, and then hurries up the stairs and into his bedroom. Derek is sitting on his bed when he comes in, looking a combination of sickly and guilty. It'd be adorable, if it wasn't Derek.
"Sorry," the older man whispers. Stiles shakes his head and hands him the plate, looking bemused.
"It's okay," he says honestly, sitting down on his bed next to the werewolf dressed in his clothes and falling backwards onto the mattress. "I think my dad thinks I've taken in a stray dog, though. Just a heads up."
Derek almost chokes on his mouthful of bacon, turning to look at Stiles sharply. "And why would he think that?"
Stiles shrugs. "I've done it before. Apparently I look guilty, and I was exhibiting the same behaviour. He's allergic to basically every kind of fur out there, so he always figures it out when he starts sneezing." He lets out a little laughed as a thought occurs to him. "Don't shift while you're here. He might be allergic to werewolves too."
Derek rolls his eyes and hungrily devours the rest of the food in front of him while Stiles gets up and starts picking up his dirty laundry and tossing it in the direction of the hamper.
"I should call Scott," he muses aloud as he picks out a pair of jeans and a graphic tee to wear to school. He'll take a quick shower and then call him. "As much as I hate him, he needs to know what's going on."
Derek looks up from his empty plate and frowns. "You hate him? I mean, not that I blame you, I'm not fond of him myself, but I thought you two were best friends."
"We were— are— best friends," Stiles corrects quickly. "He's just— he did some really dumbass crap yesterday. And I'm— I'm really angry with him right now. He betrayed me."
Derek scoffs. "What did he do? Kick over your sand castle?" he snarks, and Stiles stills.
"It doesn't matter what he did, but no, he did not kick over my sand castle," Stiles snarls. "He went after the girl he knew I've had a crush on for the past— forever— and he kissed her. And then he bragged about it. He made me feel like absolute shit, okay? And I know it was the full moon and his blood lust was at its peak—"
"—but that doesn't excuse his behaviour," Derek finishes for him, watching Stiles carefully. "But you don't really like this girl. Not anymore."
Stiles whirls around to face him, hugging his clothing selections to his chest. "Yes I do!"
"Then why did your heart rate just pick up?" Stiles' mouth falls open, but he doesn't reply. "You're lying. You don't want the redhead anymore. Your preferences have changed in recent weeks to a more... acquired taste."
Stiles' mouth goes dry at the implication, and his heart is hammering against his breastbone so hard it feels like it might burst from his chest. He swallows and hugs his clothes a little tighter to his chest. "No," he lies, and it comes out as a terrified squeak. He meets Derek's eyes and then looks away.
Derek puts his empty plate down on Stiles' bedside table and stands shakily, taking a predatory step in Stiles' direction. "I can smell it, you know. The pheromones are coming off you in waves. And your heart betrays you... like now. It's pounding like a scared—" Derek takes another step forward. "—little—" He steps right up to Stiles and looks him in the eyes, his own flashing blue. "—rabbit's."
Stiles' breath catches in his throat. "Please don't kill me," he whimpers, closing his eyes and turning his head away.
Derek's breathless laugh makes Stiles jump and he opens his eyes cautiously. The werewolf is looking at him like a piece of meat, and it's... vaguely attractive. Or it would be, if it wasn't positively terrifying.
"Why would I do that?" Derek whispers, crowding up in Stiles' personal space, "When you smell so good?"
Stiles' brow furrows and he looks down at his pyjamas. He probably smells like sweat and body odour, and that can't be attractive, especially to someone with superhuman senses. A light bulb goes off in his head and he groans, trying to ignore the swell of disappointment in his chest.
"Moon fever effects you too, huh?" he jokes casually, and Derek sways a little on his feet, unsteady.
"No," he says, but he looks much less predatory and more... wounded animal. "Not anymore."
Stiles rolls his eyes and puts down the clothes he was holding onto his desk, grabbing Derek by the arm and leading him over to his bed. "You still look like crap. Sleep it off, and hopefully tomorrow you'll stop acting like a... lunatic." He snorts at his own joke and earns himself a glare from Derek.
"It's not the moon," Derek protests, but he doesn't have much fight left in him. Mostly, he's just tired— the fatigue comes and goes as his vital organ systems are repaired.
"Sure, like I'm supposed to believe anything you say right now," Stiles scoffs, hating how his heart his hammering as he tucks Derek— who is wearing his Beacon Hills Police t-shirt— into his bed. It's not exactly the way he imagined getting Derek into his bed.
Derek doesn't protest, but he gives Stiles a hell of a glare as he grabs his things and leaves the bedroom to take a quick shower before school.
"Yes, you are," he sighs as he settles into Stiles' bed and inhales the scent that he's left behind in it. It doesn't just smell good; it smells like a potential mate.
I fell for you because you're the one that cared.