I don't know what this is, but let's just run with it, and appreciate that it's Sterek okay? Okay!

"Come across you lost and broken.

You're coming to but you're slow in waking, you start to shake.

You still haven't spoken, what happened?

...My own two hands will comfort you tonight

...My own two arms will carry you tonight, tonight."

- The Fray

Derek's out running in the woods when the scent overwhelms him. He's hit with it, and Derek instantly recognizes the scent. It's becoming his favorite scent; he'd know it anywhere.


Derek's confused at first. Why is he out in the woods behind Derek's house alone? Running towards the scent, Derek can make out Stiles' smell mixed with pain and anguish, and even a little fear.

That's enough to get Derek running full force, his legs not carrying him fast enough as panic begins to set in. The smell of pain is stronger as Derek gets closer, and he soon realizes it's not the smell of psychical pain, but emotional. Derek's panic doesn't falter, however, and he's running as fast as his legs will carry him to Stiles.

He finds him soon enough slumped against a tree, his eyes closed, his head bobbed to the side. Derek drops to his knees beside him.

"Stiles?" he says, panic seeping through his voice, despite his best effort to hide it. Stiles doesn't answer, although Derek can hear the faint sounds of his heartbeat, he still psychically shakes him. "Stiles!" he repeats, louder this time, his voice more panicked then before. Stiles groans in response, and Derek breaths a sigh of relief. His eyes quickly scan Stiles' body, checking for any visible marks, his body loosening slightly when he discovers none.

Stiles opens his eyes, blinking a few times. His eyes look glossy, as if he's in a trance. He moves his head to look in Derek's direction, but Derek soon notices it's not him Stiles is looking at, but rather at something behind him. His eyes go wide with terror, his hands begin to tremble, and Derek turns to look behind him, ready to rip to shreds whoever dares to visibly shake up Stiles like that. Derek frowns when he sees no one, and turns back to Stiles, who's hands are still trembling. "Stiles," he repeats once more, his voice slowly becoming more alarmed. "What's going on? Why are you out here in the woods alone? What happened?"

Stiles blinks a few more times, and it's then when Derek notices the dark circles under his eyes, as if he hadn't slept in weeks. "Stiles, look at me," commands Derek was worry creases across his forehead. He's quickly losing any control he had over his emotions. "What happened?" he demands, his nails digging into Stiles' shoulders.

"I see him everywhere," Stiles finally says, his voice so low that Derek's sure he wouldn't have heard him if it wasn't for his heightened senses.

"Who?" Derek demands.

"It use to be only when I slept-when I had nightmares-I'd see him," says Stiles, ignoring Derek's question. "He started showing up more and more, so I concluded to give up sleeping for a little bit, until he left me alone, but he only started to show up when I was awake too. He was here a minute ago." Stiles is speaking like he's in a trance, and Derek wonders if Stiles even realizes it's Derek who's with him.

"Who?" Derek asks again, his voice more demanding.

"Peter," Stiles whispers, his voice trembling ever so slightly, and Derek is unable to suppress a growl. He knew Peter offered him the bite (something Derek wasn't too happy to hear), but he didn't realize the type of effect Peter had left on Stiles. "I thought I'd go for a walk, wake myself up," continues Stiles, as if he didn't sense the anger radiating off of Derek. "And somehow, I ended up heading to your place, where the visions of him only became stronger..." Stiles trails off, his eyes struggling to stay open, and Derek can sense the fear on him.

That's all Derek needs to hear. "Come on," he murmurs to Stiles. "I'll take you home." He carefully helps Stiles to his feet, but as soon as Derek lets go of him, Stiles collapses under his weight, and Derek reaches out to grab him. Without thinking of anything but Stiles' safety, Derek lifts him and carries him to his place with ease.

He carries Stiles to his Camaro, placing him in the passenger's seat carefully. Derek hurries over to the driver's side and starts towards Stiles' house. Derek looks over at Stiles during the drive. His eyes are closed, and Derek's hoping he's found peace long enough to get some sleep, but the silence only lasts for a few minutes before Stiles is groaning and mumbling in his sleep, most likely having another nightmare. Derek grips the steering wheel tighter, trying his best to control his emotions. Peter is dead, he reminds himself, and getting angry at a dead wolf isn't going to stop Stiles' nightmares. Derek would easily attack anyone who dared to bring harm to Stiles, but it's Stiles' own mind that's bring him pain, and Derek doesn't know how to protect him from that, and it kills him knowing so.

Derek pulls up to Stiles' place a few minutes later, thankful that the Sheriff's car is gone. He doubts that the sheriff would be happy to find him bringing a half asleep, terror-stricken Stiles home. He helps Stiles out of the car, into his house, which luckily Stiles forgot to lock before he left, and up to his bedroom. He steadies Stiles as he kicks off his shoes and flops down onto his bed, still fully dressed.

"Try to get some sleep, Stiles," Derek murmurs to him softly, unable to take his eyes off Stiles. He looked so fragile, and weak, and all Derek wants is for him to be safe, to be rid of any fears that his uncle brings him.

As Derek turns to walk away, he's surprised to feel Stiles' hand reach out to grab his arm. "You know," Stiles mumbles to him. "When I use to have nightmares, my mom would lay in bed with me, and just murmur everything was going to be fine. And every time she laid with me, the nightmares would go away, as if somehow her presence was enough to ward them off. But she's gone. She's not around anymore to ward them off." Stiles opens his eyes, looking directly at him, and Derek suddenly feels like there's a bond between them. Because if there's one thing Derek can relate to is the feeling of being alone. His mom was the one that could see through Derek's protective shell and see when something was bothering him; she was the one, like Stiles' mother, that could ward off any evils that surrounded him, and though Derek is now an adult, there's nothing he wouldn't give to be a child again with his mother there to protect him from it all.

But Derek doesn't say this to Stiles because somehow, he feels like Stiles already knows this. "Stay with me," Stiles whispers to him, and his voice is a cross between a question and begging him to. Derek doesn't speak, but rather slides into Stiles' bed with him, no questioning, no hesitation. Stiles leans against him, and without realizing it, Derek throws a protective arm around Stiles.

It's not long before Derek realizes that Stiles has fallen asleep. His breathing is soft and his heartbeat is steady, and Derek takes comfort in the hope that Stiles is getting the peaceful sleep he needs. Derek closes his own eyes, as sleep threatens to take him over as well. He usually doesn't sleep much, but the feeling of Stiles in his arms is enough to put him at ease.

Stiles may not be his mother (thank God), and Derek sure isn't Mrs. Stilinski, but them being together is enough to ward off the nightmares, the evil, no matter for how short of an amount of time. Derek mentally swears to himself that he'll always be there to protect Stiles, whether it was from people like his uncle, or from things as imaginary as nightmares before he drifts off to sleep at the sound of Stiles' heartbeat.