Stiles watched Derek with narrowed eyes.

The pack was at the beach, on Stile's request, for bonding time in the waves.

And it was going swimmingly (pun absolutely intended) with the pack members who would get in the freakingwater.

Unlike some people.

Meaning Derek.

He was standing on the edge of the water, pacing of all things. His arms were crossed across his bare chest; his forehead was creased with worry.

"Stiles stop making goo-goo eyes at your boyfriend." Scott teased, elbowing him in the ribs.

"He isn't my boyfriend idiot." Stiles snorted, splashing Scott quickly. "And these aren't 'goo-goo' eyes. These are killer, poisonous, death delivering eyes."

Scott pushed him under the water, laughing, and held him there.

Under the water.

For way longer than needed.

Like, longer than he- a non-werewolf- was able to hold his breathe.

At 'in danger of passing out' level now. For sure past the 'losing some brain cells' floor on this elevator of head trauma.

Case and point.

And then suddenly the weight on top of him keeping him deep in the thick suffocating substance ('water' his oxygen strained mind whispered.) was gone.

He felt something strong and thick wrapping around his middle bits and pulling.

But... That hurt. He was okay just floating around like this. This yanking was uncomfortable.

Then suddenly he was freezing and everything was rushing at him and he was moving and then suddenly sand and heat and he didn't know which way was up and he still felt like he was drowning and he couldn't take what he needed, he couldn't remember what he needed, What did he need.

Something important.


"Stiles you idiot." The words were harsh but even in Stiles's blurry halfway there state he could tell there was no real venom behind them, just desperation and worry and-

-Breathing. That was it. That was what I needed to remember.

And then he was doing it and breathing was easy and clarity was returning and the sharp colours of the beach faded behind the soft tones and planes of Derek's face hovering above his and even softer still the relief in his eyes.

"...Derek?" God his voice sounded low and manly. Or recently drowned.

"Fucking hell Stiles what is wrong with you!? Did you provoke Scott, or was he just being an idiot! What did you even say to hi-"

"He called you my boyfriend..." He muttered. "You wouldn't like that." Apparently his already largely perforated filter basically crumbled down to a few strands of chicken wire pulled across the highway from his brain to his mouth when he was recently almost dead.

Good to know.

And then he was being held tight in a bone crushing hug and that wasn't exactly the best thing for him right now but he let it happen anyway because how often did you get hugged by Derek freaking Hale and apparently he had said all of this out loud because Derek was speaking really quietly into his neck.

"You're a moron Stiles."