It wasn't so bad, not remembering anything.
It was...peaceful. He had no name yet; no one had a name yet. He was new, even if this world and all its things were so familiar to him. There was a warm body wrapped up with his, skin on skin, and he felt like this world of softness and light would stretch on forever and never fade from perfection. It felt, completely, like home.
He could feel his nudity, but there was a safety, a peace, that kept him from feeling some sense of shame he thought he should be feeling.
Long, clever fingers were stroking over his back, and he moaned happily, moving into the touch, welcoming it. Lips pressed to his forehead, a thumb stroking over his eyebrow, coaxing his eyes to open. Loving doe-eyes stared down at him calmly, a pink mouth he wanted to taste playing up just a little, "Hello, beautiful." A voice he felt he should remember, he felt he'd never been more at home with, murmured softly, rough with sleep. "You are my sunshine, Derek Hale." The boy muttered, guiding his mouth gently up until they could kiss.
He felt the rightness of kissing that mouth, and knew he belonged, "Is that my name?" The boy's hand, soft and gentle, froze as it was passing over his cheek, and his eyes widened, his mouth falling open.
Derek felt like he'd done something wrong, panic rising as he reached out and took the boy's mouth in another kiss-hoping to make the boy feel at home, too; anything to get that look off of his face. The boy let him, breaking the kiss after a moment but holding him close, his voice shaking slightly as he spoke, "Your name is Derek Hale, and you were born in Beacon Hills, California. My name is Stiles Stilinski. We're together." Derek's lips quirked just slightly up on one side, his arm squeezing and releasing playfully. "Yeah, you could figure that out, I know…You're a werewolf, you were born a werewolf-"
"Aren't those supposed to be myths?" Derek asks, cocking his head to one side, lines drawing between his brows in confusion.
Stiles sighed, and a great, stormy grey wing tipped with silver blades appeared from his back. "So are angels, technically, but my feathered appendages say otherwise." Stiles murmured, his hand laying over Derek's heart softly. Derek liked it, liked that an angel was touching him, that an angel woke up with him like this, and he really didn't realize Stiles had his hand over his heart to keep track of his pulse. Didn't realize they didn't know where they were, that they could be vulnerable. The Derek Stiles had fallen in love with was gone, given a blank slate. Stiles felt his gut tightening painfully, and fought tears welling in his eyes, "You're the Alpha of a pack of werewolves in Beacon Hills. Friends of mine. Your second is my best friend, Scott; then there's Jackson, Boyd, Erica, and Isaac. They're all wolves. Lydia, Danny, Allison, and I are not, but we're pack anyway." Derek simply absorbed the information, not a hint of recognition sparking in his eyes, but also not a flash of fear that he wasn't remembering, or that he didn't know Stiles.
"I feel like...like I don't have to worry about that anymore." Derek muttered, his hand closing over Stiles's, and Stiles felt almost like he couldn't breathe.
Stiles lets Derek coax him back into Derek's arms; he can't deny he feels safe here, swathed in soft material and Derek's skin. Derek kisses his forehead and Stiles realizes only as the pain releases that he was having the beginnings of a headache. Stiles remembers all over again that Derek had healed him; he remembers the feeling of Derek's fur under his hands, and the rumble like thunder of Derek's distress. Then the cold. Oh god, the cold. Derek's breathing slowing, his heartbeat stuttering...the desperation. Stiles would've given anything to take it back, even though he really wouldn't. Kate Argent had needed to be brought to more justice than death. He wouldn't regret that part of it; he physically can't. Stiles twists in Derek's grip, getting just far away enough to study the expanse of skin beneath him, meeting Derek's eyes reassuringly for a moment before he began to look for the wounds that would be healed already, searching by touch for new, hot skin regrown. Derek rolls up slightly, enough to get his mouth on Stiles's skin, his huge hand soothing over the fragile bones just barely hidden under Stiles's skin, pulling him in close and wrapping him in warmth. Derek shifts him, getting his mouth on Stiles's hotly, a kiss that makes Stiles's brain lose track of which way is up and what his own name even is. He kisses Stiles breathless; kisses a soft line from Stiles's mouth, over his jaw and neck, down to his heart, sucking a bruise into the creamy plane of his chest.
"Mine," Derek growled softly over the mark, and Stiles's hands curled, one in his hair and one on his shoulder, his body arching desperately for impossibly more skin and more touch and just more. Derek drew a map of kisses and licks over Stiles's chest, and it took a moment for Stiles to realize just why he was so desperate and ready: This hadn't been this good, this safe, since Hell. Stiles was in the moment; not trapped in the blood and sweat and fire. He surged up and kissed Derek, laying him back down against the bed and grinning into the kiss, flying with relief as he straddled Derek, teasing sensitive spots on Derek's body that he probably didn't remember. Stiles's wings reacted to his joy, splaying out wide from his back, the movement of air over his feathers tinkling like music, the colour of them almost opalescent as they caught the light, shining white and stormy grey impossibly at the same time, casting rainbows over his and Derek's skin. Derek's breath caught at the beauty of it, his hand reaching up to touch. Stiles stopped him, the silvery blades edging his wings making him panic that Derek would hurt himself. Derek's fingers connected anyway, the downy soft of the feather brushing against his fingertips, and the touch making Stiles gasp at the sensation. Derek reached forwards, burying his hands in the feathers, feeling them run between his fingers as soft as spring rain, Stiles's body arching down into his, his knees squeezing around Derek's hips. Derek could feel for a fleeting second with each touch, the hard edge of the blade, before it just gave under his hand, softening to him, careful not to hurt him, and Stiles's reactions were almost more mesmerizing than the feel of those feathers.
Stiles took one of Derek's hands from his back, sliding it lower and moaning when Derek took over the movement, slipping his fingers over the curve of Stiles's ass, brushing the pads of his fingers over Stiles's hole. Stiles bucked against him, and Derek's hand slipped further into Stiles's wing, rubbing against a hardened nub and coming away with slick fingers to the desperate, needy sound of Stiles's broken moan. Derek stilled Stiles's shudder, pressing his hand back into the down to try to find that gland again, fingers searching through the soft haze as Stiles tried to rut against him, pupils so blown there was almost no brown around the black. Derek's eyes dropped to Stiles's mouth, his own body jolting with arousal at the bruising flush, swollen and luscious and so sweet to the tongue that Derek wondered how he'd ever convince himself to stop tasting it. Part of him hoped he'd never have to. Derek took his slickened fingers, replacing his hand on Stiles's ass with the other and getting a desperate, high moan as he pressed down with the slick, "What is that?" Stiles panted, clinging, with a grip that would be painful, to Derek's biceps.
"Wings produce oil to help keep them clean." Derek reasons, not knowing where the knowledge comes from, but accepting it anyway. Stiles accepts it, too, if the way his eyes flutter closed and his body simply opens for Derek's finger is any indication. Derek reaches for the gland again, and Stiles's body shudders of its own accord, vibrating around his finger in hot little motions as Stiles opened his legs further, offering himself up wantonly. "I don't know how I know, but I do know you're mine."
"I-I am...and you're mine, too." Stiles manages, pulling Derek down to maul his mouth again, rolling with him so that Derek's warmth wraps around him, pressing him solidly down against the bed. Derek feels like he knows this; like he knew, always, in his heart, just where to touch, where to kiss, and nip, and lick. Derek wants; he wants to do all of that and more, map out Stiles's entire body and see if he really does know what the inside of his elbows taste like and the exact colour of Stiles's flush under his beard burn. It is entirely instinctive, knowing that if he twists his finger just that slow, Stiles will cling onto him for dear life and cry out; but it makes him want to take Stiles completely apart and pull him back together again, the smooth expanse of creamy skin spread out for him to simply devour. Stiles whimpers as Derek's finger shifts, following the instincts leading him over Stiles's body. Derek gathers more oil, getting Stiles sloppy as he nips a line of red teeth marks over the notch of Stiles's thigh, where his leg becomes his pelvis. Stiles's sounds choke off desperately, precum dripping from his flushed head, and the heady scent of Stiles's arousal rends a growl out of Derek as he feels his resolve weakening, before he simply grabs Stiles around the hips and lifts, dragging Stiles across the endless bed and sitting up with Stiles's hips in his arms, raising Stiles to his mouth and thrusting his tongue into the slickened heat of him, rumbling happily as Stiles lets out a short scream, clutching the angel-soft sheets rumpled over the rumpled bedclothes, his knuckles turning white and his teeth bearing down on his lower lip, his legs sliding over Derek's shoulders and his back arching, eyes rolling up in pleasure and mouth going slack as Derek fucks his tongue into him with a harsher rhythm. "Derek-no, not yet...shit, oh god...I want you in me...n-not yet." Stiles babbles in a voice that is already ruined. Derek takes it as encouragement, getting Stiles loose and wet and on the very edge.
Derek gives one last lick before pulling off and thrusting his fingers back into Stiles, rubbing against his prostate as Derek takes Stiles's cock into his mouth, licking at the precum weeping from Stiles's head before closing his lips around the shaft. He looks up at Stiles, and it's the missing piece for him, one glance in his eyes, and Stiles is arching, forcing Derek to tighten his grip on Stiles's hips and keep him still, the muscles in Stiles's legs bunched and toes curling, knees still over Derek's shoulders. Derek milks him down, until Stiles whimpers at the stimulation and Derek carefully manages to work his fingers free, earning another soft mewl. Stiles is heavy-eyed and loose as Derek lowers him with no shortage of reverence back onto the bed. His cheeks are a raspberry red, and his eyes are still nearly black, half-lidded and glowing with happiness. Stiles reaches for Derek's cock, and Derek stops him by leaning in for a kiss, long and sweet. "I want to taste you...all of you." Derek tells him, voice rough and well-sexed. Stiles shivers, humming happily as Derek covers as much of Stiles's skin as he can for the heat, stealing a kiss for his troubles.
"I get the sense here that you're going to make me cum until my brain oozes out of my ears." Stiles brushed his fingers through Derek's hair, kissing his forehead as Derek laid his head down on Stiles's collarbone, Stiles's arms wrapping around him, "You can do whatever you want with me, Derek." Stiles murmured, his thumb massaging between Derek's shoulder blades, making Derek shiver closer. Fluttering lightly, Stiles's wings disappeared again, the phantom sensation of Derek's hands giving Stiles a pleasantly worn-out jolt of impotent arousal.
"I think that's the orgasm talking." Derek grinned, nudging Stiles's side.
Stiles guffawed, his head shaking before he curled down and littered Derek's face with kisses, "Probably was, but still holds true. I trust you, it doesn't matter that you don't really remember."
"Am...Am I different, because of forgetting?"
"...Yes, but you're also still you." Stiles told him, "And that doesn't make sense, but-" Stiles cut off as Derek raised himself up for a lazy kiss. Derek's tongue traced the shape of his lips in slow, smooth strokes, his mouth raising to Stiles's eyelids and kissing his eyelashes against his cheeks as if locking them closed. Stiles ran his fingers through Derek's hair as he began his trek, the brush of hot lips and a swipe of tongue or small nip of teeth the only thing between Stiles and sleep.
Stiles moans as his cock begins to harden with Derek slowly making his way over Stiles's hips, dragging his teeth lightly along Stiles's skin to see what shades it'd turn. Derek licks over the tender skin where Stiles's inner thigh became his groin, kissing the tendon there sweetly, before rubbing his beard down the inside of Stiles's thigh, brushing his lips over the marks before he teases his tongue over the hollow of Stiles's knee, pressing kisses to the scars Stiles had accumulated over young years of constantly scraped knees. "You smell like beeswax, ink, and...fire." Stiles tensed just slightly, but Derek continued his kissing unphased, until he noticed.
A knot knit itself in Stiles's heart, and words bubbled and burst in his throat. He couldn't tell Derek about the family he didn't remember. He'd have to start at the beginning, and, as inappropriate as this was, Stiles couldn't have this stop. If he could give Derek any time at all to be happy, he would. He'd do anything to give Derek a chance to feel better than Stiles knew he felt. Stiles ran his fingers through Derek's hair softly as Derek rested his chin on Stiles's hip, waiting for him to tell him what was wrong. Stiles shook his head, reaching to draw him up for a kiss, "I love you…" Stiles rubbed Derek's cheek.
Derek ducked his head, kissing the inside of Stiles's wrist, "I might not remember, but I know what I feel, and I trust my instincts. All I know right now is that I love you, and we belong to each other." Derek breathed, caressing over his cheek and tracking over his face with eyes that felt like they were swallowing Stiles whole.
"You have so much faith…" Stiles brushed his thumb over Derek's lower lip, "it's your gift."
Derek kissed his thumb, sliding up and reaching over for a bottle of lube that hadn't been there before, Stiles knew for sure.
Derek's fingers slipped back into him, and Stiles pulled himself into the moment again, shifting his thighs further apart and moaning at the quick, efficient work Derek made of him, "Derek-God, fuck...Derek, please."
Derek slicked himself just as efficiently, and Stiles clutched his shoulders as he slowly pushed in, the feeling of just simply Derek's skin, with no condom between them for the first time, made Stiles's toes curl. "You feel so good…" Derek moaned, his grip on Stiles's hips tightening slightly.
Red flashes briefly through Derek's eyes, and Stiles reaches down, taking Derek's hands and wrapping their fingers together, Derek pressing his hands down into the mattress as he fully sheathed himself, pausing there and staring down into Stiles's eyes until Stiles squeezed his hands, urging him on. Working up an easy pace, Derek stared down at Stiles as he gave himself over. Derek kissed him like it was the only way he could breathe, and Stiles's fingers tightened in Derek's, his body arching up in offering as Derek worked his hips, slow and gentle, "Derek…" Derek's gaze turned back up to Stiles, and Stiles could see red flickering just slightly over the hazel.
"I'm okay, it's in control." Derek whispered, and Stiles wondered how. How could Derek possibly have it in control? He was born a wolf, yes, but he'd lost all that; he'd lost the years of restraint and control, and there was no way that was instinctual. "I won't hurt you. That part is instinct. I can feel where I'm a wolf now..."
"I trust you." Stiles tells him easily, because he does, always has.
Derek smiles, kissing him soft and sweet, murmuring against his mouth, "I trust you, too."
The thing is, he does. Stiles knows what it feels like to have Derek's complete heart, and he knows what it feels like to just be an extra in the life of Derek Hale. Derek now has complete trust in him. He has Derek's full faith and unreserved love. Derek doesn't remember Kate; doesn't remember ever being betrayed or used, though he knows what those things are and that there's a possibility of them. Still, Derek trusts him without a second thought, just because his gut tells him that he loves Stiles and that he can be trusted.
Stiles rises up enough to get his mouth on Derek's, his leg folding over Derek's hips, opening himself up more. He rocks down as much as he can while Derek's still kissing him breathless, and he's dizzy by the time he can breathe again, pressing his face into Derek's neck and panting through tiny, barely-formed moans, pressing his lips to Derek's throat and moaning as Derek lifted him off the bed with an arm hooked behind his hips, wrapping around him and holding him tight. Derek presses Stiles's face into his throat, moaning as Stiles runs his teeth over the tendon beneath his mouth, sucking kisses along the column of his neck that stake a claim more than anything else Stiles has ever done to Derek. He reaches the vulnerable hollow under Derek's ear, just where his solid jaw ends, and he sucks a mark there, Derek's body faltering and picking up harder with a sound almost like a purr rolling out of Derek's chest, shivering over Stiles's skin.
Stiles watches as the signs of Derek's impending climax surface; his eyes widening before they slip closed with a flutter of lashes, his breath catching in a quiet groan as his hand squeezes lightly around Stiles's, the tense-release of his muscles as his thrusts get longer-go deeper and just the tiniest bit slower in an attempt at drawing it out just a little longer, like the thought of cumming always came too soon. It's different this time, though. Stiles can feel Derek's shaft getting thicker, and all the air leaves him in a solid whoosh when he realizes what it is that's causing that.
Derek would pull out if Stiles told him to. Stiles can feel the knot forming and he lets out a bitten off whine at the thought of it, being connected to Derek like that for some untold amount of time, stretched and full. He wants it in a way that drives everything else away, and he lets himself take it, moaning long and sweet as Derek begins to pant into his neck, his lips brushing Stiles's skin with every thrust forward, "That's it, Derek…god, I love you." Derek reaches between them, and Stiles bites his lip as he bats Derek's hand away. The idea of the knot has him on the edge, the knot itself would tip him over, he knows. Stiles arches and pushes down as it breaches into him, and Stiles holds back a scream of pleasure as Derek starts to come, heat and pleasure bursting deep inside Stiles.
Derek cried out a name-Stiles's real name-and Stiles did scream as he came, hugging Derek tight to his chest.
Stiles couldn't think of a single thing to say about how good that was, still locked together with Derek, and he doesn't even care that Derek's heavy and pinning him down; his body is a comfortable, warm weight, lightly sheened with sweat in the light that came from nowhere and everywhere in this place. He was beyond beautiful, and Stiles feels himself go completely boneless in the face of the perfectly content look on Derek's face, rubbing over his shoulders and bending his head down to kiss Derek's nose, "You remembered my name." Stiles tells him softly.
"I don't know how...it just came."
"You came; it resurfaced in that pretty little head of yours." Stiles teased, grinning. He'd never been given much of a chance to play with Derek's wavy, un-gelled hair, so he took advantage of what he was given, rubbing his fingers against Derek's scalp and studying the look of his fingers woven with Derek's almost-curls, black against white. Derek laid his head down, nuzzling softly at Stiles's chest, holding onto him, "You've never knotted me before. I don't know why it happened now." Stiles traced lightly down the back of Derek's neck, holding him against his chest when Derek moved to look up. "I have a few theories, but nothing that matters. It doesn't matter at all, actually, this feels...closer to you."
"I don't think I could get any closer to you-Am I squishing you?"
"No, and don't you dare even try to move right now. So, what do you know right now? You know my real name…"
"Your favourite movie is...Lesbian Vampire Killers?"
"Mostly because then I get to tease you about gay werewolves." Derek looked up sharply with an expression somewhere between displeasure and confusion, Stiles grinned at him and shrugged, encouraging him back down and soothing over his shoulders again.
"You like lasagne. And I can remember how to cook it."
"You just don't remember cooking it. Or watching the movie?" Derek nodded, his brow knit in consternation, "So...you have the outline of who you are, and what your memories would allow you to know, but you don't actually have any of your memories." Stiles brushed his fingers over Derek's temple, back into his hair, his palm cupped along the cut of Derek's cheek, "You're telling me about me, though: tell me about you."
Derek nuzzled into Stiles's chest again, moving in such a way that Stiles's hand rubbed through his hair again, and Stiles began carding his fingers through the black locks once more, "I like the colour green best, but I like red, too-"
"My red hoodie. I knew you liked it, you get all tender every time I wear it."
"-I...I think I like running…"
"You're a wolf, you love running."
"I know what I look like, and I know what my weaknesses are, but...mostly, I know you. Or, more, I know the most important person to me, and you're him. I can't remember being with you or learning any of it, and I'm just a big blank-"
Stiles shushes him almost desperately, rubbing up and down his back and holding him tight, trying to get him to calm down, "Okay, okay...it's okay. You didn't have much of a personality anyway." Stiles teases, and Derek lifts his face to scowl, "Hah! I got a dirty look! You're already turning into your same old self!" Stiles cries in celebration, giggling.
Derek's brows knit, his eyes going distant for a minute, "I wasn't very happy, was I? I mean, I-"
"We were happy, but, no, you didn't smile a lot, or really laugh unless I worked my ass off to earn it…"
"Is there a reason why, or was that just…?"
"Part of it was just you, but part of it was...you had a lot of bad things happen to you, Derek." Stiles's voice goes low and strained, and Derek reaches up to silence him with gentle fingers on his lower lip.
"Don't tell me...maybe I don't need to know…" Derek begged him, and Stiles nodded easily, couldn't bear the thought of causing Derek pain like that, couldn't bear the thought of causing him pain at all. "Is that selfish?" Derek asked, his fingers flinching as they ran over Stiles's jaw.
"No. And even if it was, I wouldn't blame you."
"Where do you think we are?"
"In all honesty?...I think we're in Heaven, Derek." Stiles told him, looking for the appearing and apparently disappearing tube of lube, "We...we died…"
"How?" Derek asks, his voice soft and gentle, his hands on Stiles's skin as if Stiles is the one that needs comfort.
Stiles swallows thickly, his fingers tracing over Derek's skin, "You were trying to save my life...it's my fault you died…"
Derek runs his thumb over Stiles's lower lip again, his brows knit and his eyes shining with anger and determination, "That makes no sense. I made the choice to try to save you, and there was a threat to save you from. It's not your fault. Besides, I'm beginning to think I might be better off dead and amnesiac."
Stiles's face contorted to match the look on Derek's, "What?"
"If whatever my past was stopped me from showing you I was happy, I don't care if you know that I was, I should've shown you."
Stiles readjusts, wrapping Derek up more securely in his limbs, "It doesn't matter, Derek. I always knew, you-" Derek presses a kiss over Stiles's heart, tender and sweet and so earnest it might actually hurt a little bit, and Stiles loves him so much he could end worlds with that kind of power.
"It doesn't matter anymore," Derek agrees with a voice so deep and so mesmerizing it's a caress in itself, "because now I don't remember any of it, none of it is holding me back...I can show you all of it. I will show you all of it."
Stiles subsides for a long moment, falling silent and growing steadily more comfortable and sluggish, Derek's weight pressing him into the soft bed and his warmth making him drowsy. Stiles feels like a cat curled in the sun, unmitigated happiness flowing through him with every lazy breath.
"What was your theory?" Derek asks quietly, and Stiles wrinkles his nose, unwilling to discuss it.
"I think you knotted me this time around because right now, you've never been hurt or betrayed or any of it. So that part of you that you always kept reserved, that you always kept safe...you trust me with that part of you now, too." Stiles tells him on a sigh, running his fingers over Derek's shoulder, tracing the lines of muscle and bone.
Derek's quiet for a long while, his fingers tracing the lines of Stiles's hand, over his knuckles and around the thin, delicate bones, "I was hurt that bad...but not by you." It's not a question, but Stiles confirms it anyway. Derek makes an unhappy sound, bringing the hand he'd been playing with to his mouth and holding onto it hard, "I feel like that's a failing on my part."
"What the ever-loving fuck are you talking about? It's not your fault, it's not even that bad, everyone needs to protect themselves somehow!"
Derek growls the words, just a bit, but Stiles can't bring himself to be nervous about him losing control, "I shouldn't. Not with you. You're my mate, I can feel that. You are mine; it's like it's branded into me, and that comes through even though I woke up without my own name. With it being that strong, I should've trusted it."
Stiles pets through his soft, thick hair, hushing him quietly, "You know what? I'm not going to bother to argue with you. The only thing I have to say is that sometimes you do silly things to protect me; and sometimes you do silly things to protect you. I love both. I don't agree with some of them, and I fight you tooth and nail about approximately half the shit you do to protect me, but I love you for wanting to; for trying to, even if it's annoying and superfluous. You have my back and I have yours. You've come to trust me enough for that; and that was a long way to go."
Derek sulked just a little, and Stiles smiled at him, kissing his forehead. Sitting up, Derek and Stiles both shared a small whine as Derek slipped free, the knot having gone down. Stiles reached out for him again, dragging him down and curling up around him, "Tell me more about the pack?"
With a sigh, Stiles looked at the silvery white nothingness of the ceiling or sky above them, thinking for a long moment before taking a deep breath to start talking, "You were born a werewolf; you're the only born-werewolf on the pack. Scott was bitten by a psychopathic Alpha that we then helped you kill, and Scott was bitten first. I'm Scott's best friend, and also very very nosy, so I kind of...came as a package deal. In the beginning, at least. Scott's girlfriend, Allison, is actually the daughter of a hunter family, but she and Scott are mated, so you allowed her in the pack once she'd proven herself on our side. You bit Isaac, Erica, and Boyd. Isaac's father was beating him, and he wanted a way to defend himself; Erica was epileptic, and the bite stopped her seizures; and Boyd just...wanted the bite. I think it was because of Erica, personally, but Erica and Isaac also act like they're dating sometimes, so if mates is a strictly one on one deal then Boyd is totally getting the short end of the stick here." Stiles curled one of the wavy locks around the end of his finger, enjoying the softness of it, "Anyway...Jackson was something called a kamina, but then he died...twice...and became a werewolf. Please don't ask, I have no idea, either, I've learned that if it doesn't come up in research, you probably don't really want to know. But, he joined the pack, too, and brought Lydia and Danny with him. Lydia is a witch-in-training and Danny's just human, like I was at the beginning.
"Danny and Lydia have kind of taken over the role I started out with as brains of the operation, but I'm an angel anyway, so it's kind of moot to feel bad about that. If I didn't have my powers, I think I'd be going insane about it." Derek's head shifted on his chest, and Stiles held on tighter, "Anyway, I got captured by a hunter at one point, and after you and Scott found out, you solidified that he was a part of your pack, and that I was, too. The first time you and I met, Scott had just been bitten and we were on your property, looking for his inhaler, which you had. You and I started out with you slamming me against walls and threatening to rip my throat out with your teeth. We started saving each other's lives, though, so I think you started to care a little bit." Derek became a cuddle monster at that, wrapping around Stiles as much as he can and holding on tight.
"I cared. You don't realize what it feels like right now...it's like being pulled apart, I need to curl up around you and ward the world away, but I have to be a part of you, too. I need to prove you're mine and have you own me right back. If I felt even half of what I can feel now, Stiles, I was completely devoted to you the first time we met." Stiles's hand curls around Derek's, and he pulls them in together until there isn't even a breath of air between them.
Stiles feels a kind of awe at the openness of Derek now; at the ease with which he's telling Stiles everything.
Once Stiles would've leapt immediately into the thought that he was in Hell, that this was fake and would be taken from him. But, the more Stiles thought about it, the more he felt and analyzed it, the more it felt like Hell and all the scars Hell had left had been healed. It was still there, he still knew what had happened; all that had gone on...but it was also infinitely separate. As if he'd found a way to heal. There had been something in him that had known, every time, when Hell had come up with a new illusion. This time, though, it was silent. Derek didn't know who he was, but he was still Derek. It was more than a hopeful pull of a young heart that told Stiles that Derek was his.
Stiles scratches lightly through Derek's hair, scrubbing blunt fingertips against his scalp and smiling at the low groan of pleasure it brings, "I don't want to move."
"Nnngh. That shouldn't even have been a possibility. No. No moving." Derek groans into his chest, pinning him down with an arm on either side of his body.
Stiles giggles a little maniacally, greedy with the sheer mass of Derek; the expanse of his body, so easily covering his own. It was a guilty comfort, something that by rights he should hate; the heat and the weight of Derek's body should make him feel suffocated and half-dead, but it just throws into stark relief how small he is, and how completely Derek would make himself vulnerable in order to protect him, even with his strengths. "We should find out what's going on, though, Derek."
"We died, we're in Heaven. We had hot, passionate sex on this very nice, very soft bed, and I don't remember a damn thing. That is what's happened. I am not moving: I am sleeping."
"Derek, what's the wolf telling you?" Stiles sighed, gripping his fingers through Derek's hair and pulling soft and slow, Derek grunting and whining into his shoulder.
"I don't want to get up."
"I know, neither do I, but it'd be nice to know what's around us, what we have to expect."
"Might not be such a nice place."
"You don't remember what the Winchesters told you about Heaven. Right. Um...I'm...okay, this is not a cuddle-conversation, so we're going to have to put on pants and find somewhere to sit up like adults and talk, because I have the worst feeling you'll let yourself get distracted by my wings and you'll end up taking me apart again. Which, yes. But also, no."
Derek raised his head a little, staring down at Stiles for a moment before snorting into laughter, leaning down for a kiss before he allowed Stiles to bat at his arms into getting off of him and letting them do that. Clothes appeared for them both, and Stiles crawled over to them, tossing the black t-shirt and jeans at Derek's head and slithering into a stormy-grey sweater and a pair of jeans of his own, worn and faded comfortably, and soft like jeans had no right to be. Derek pulled him into his lap, though, curving his hand around Stiles's neck and bringing them together to kiss, wrapping Stiles around him even as he stood up on the endless bed, grinning and panting into Stiles's collar as they broke off for air.
Stiles tells him as much as he can before Derek's big hands and intense eyes end up demolishing any attempt at resolve and composure Stiles could've come up with. Derek questions only a little, mostly for clarification, partially because, even to Stiles, really none of it makes any sense in the re-telling. Derek takes it all in intelligently, though, and can read him well enough already--damn being an open book--to tell when pushing for more would mean knowing too much. Stiles was thankful for it; more than he could say. When Derek decided it was time to stop talking, Stiles was really thankful for that, too.
There was no sleeping; no getting tired, and with a thought, they could summon whatever they wanted to them; food, books, and the whole world seemed to become a movie theatre when Derek asked to see Lesbian Vampire Killers, the picture spread huge and glorious over the nothingness above them as they laid curled up together. Derek laughed hysterically with Stiles this time, and it just made it so much better.
"You're glowing." Derek muttered, his hand passing over Stiles's back.
"You glow when you're happy?"
Stiles opened his eyes, looking down at himself, "Sweet Lucifer's vessel with his ass on fire!" Stiles shouted, flinching as if he could get out of his own, luminescent skin. Derek's hands folded around his arms, his gaze intense and piercing, "I-I've never...glowed...before." Stiles mumbled, taking Derek's hand and putting it against his skin to see the very definable way his pale flesh was iridescent.
"Of course you haven't. You've never been home before." A new voice, a familiar voice laughed. Derek and Stiles turned both to see Derek's mother breezing into the room, and Stiles was absurdly thankful that he was at least fully clothed and her son was only sans shirt.
"Home?" The word slipped from his lips like it's some sort of blow. He didn't like using that word and never had; his father used to tell him his mother was a gypsy in a way, and from then on he'd always thought of home as being people rather than places. Derek's hand closed over Stiles's, and Stiles blinked, "Uh, Derek...this is your mom." And that was quite possibly the oddest-feeling thing Stiles had ever had to do; introduce a son to his mother.
Derek's face shifted, his eyes widening and getting brighter, his features opening and relaxing a little, and she chuckled with infinite fondness at him, "Your grandmother told me that they'd had to erase his memory to get him here." With a long, graceful hand, she reached out and pet through his hair, smiling fondly. She reached forwards, slipping her arms around him and hugging delicately, "This isn't Heaven, but a lot of Heaven and Hell is really decided by you. If you don't make a deal, it's more up to you where you go. It depends on what you feel you deserve."
"And Derek never felt like he deserved a paradise." Stiles muttered through almost unmoving lips, his fingers trailing over Derek's forearm and wrist, curling around his huge palm.
Derek looked from Stiles up to his mother as the scenery around them shifted, fashioning two couches and a wide open apartment. Stiles looked around confusedly, and Derek's mother laughed, "This place will shape to be whatever you want it to be. But thank you for winning me the pool. Derek's father has to take me dancing now, I had it down that you and Derek would've had a bed."
Stiles feels his blush reach supernova, and Derek looks painfully embarrassed for once, too. "Congratulations on that, but where are we if this isn't Heaven? Also, why can you touch Derek?"
"Because you two are dead; and this is a paradise, but this is where...fairies...and creatures like us move on to. The heavenly version of it, anyway."
"There's a balance...good and evil, so things that go bump in the night but are good will have somewhere to go other than that Purgatory place." Stiles nodded once, "Alright."
"And not only are you very, very good; you're the crown prince."
Stiles's eyes widened, his body going very still, "Right, grandson of Titania."
"Until those fireworks you pulled saving Derek, you were the only living descendant of Titania's clan left on Earth."
"I have a feeling that my dying is not a good thing?"
"Not as such, no, but there's nothing for it, so don't worry about that part. Your grandmother wants to meet you both, though."
"Is there any more of our family here?" Derek asks quietly, and Stiles braces as if for impact.
Derek's mother flashes him a look, "Stiles, this is for me to tell Derek, so thank you for leaving me to that. You go see your grandmother, my son and I will have a talk and I'll bring him to you later?"
Derek's hand tightens in his, his eyes going a little wide and his cheeks turn pale. Stiles curls his fingers into the hair at the nape of Derek's neck, bringing his gaze right into Stiles's and dragging him into his arms tight, "You'll be alright." Stiles promises, and he wants to stay and wrap around Derek and protect him from what's coming just as much as he's thankful he doesn't have to be the one making it come. "I love you."
"I love you, too." Derek sighs, his voice giving away the fact that he's already in pain, just at the looming threat of it.
Stiles kisses his shoulder and his cheek before letting him go and standing, his clothes shifting from the loose sweater and jeans to what looks almost like body armour, fit for a prince. A massive, arching doorway appears, and Stiles forces down his nerves, squaring his shoulders and raising his chin almost defiantly. He steps into a court of sorts, and his lips tighten at the sound of the resounding gasp that echoes around the perfect, opalescently white hall. A woman with glowing, pale skin and silver hair smiles at him, opening her arms, and it's like he's been summoned and he can't fight it. He doesn't run, but it's a near thing, and then her arms are around him, and Titania's light builds between them both, shining brighter than the sun for a moment, singing through the hall like crystals. "Welcome home." She murmurs, and Stiles feels the words take root and build warmth, blooming through his chest. He has his grandmother's smile.
He spends what's probably days walking along beside her, talking through all the thousand questions he's had, and Derek joins them after he meets the rest of his family, silently taking Stiles's hand and walking alongside them in a quiet that means deep and probably agonizing contemplation of other things. Stiles knows the only reason why his hand is in Derek's right now is because Derek doesn't remember anything, only has the instinct pulling him for mate, and is completely giving himself over to that instinct, no matter where it gets him. Derek's trust in him means that Stiles keeps talking to his grandmother, keeping his silence to Derek until he's ready to talk. He'll make himself wait as long as it takes until Derek's ready to voice whatever it is he's fighting with, if that day comes at all. Being trusted by Derek changes things for him; relaxes the insatiable curiosity in him. He knows Derek will tell him when he needs Stiles to know.
"Your mother was a strong one; most of the court thought she'd be a warrior queen, she was so passionate. She was determined not to take a lover until she found one that completed her entirely. It was a dangerous undertaking, too. Loves like that were rare, and she was alone for a very long time...but she did find it, eventually. He was mortal; and sick. He would've died of the fever killing off his people before the month was out, but she came to me, demanded that we help them, because he would be hers, and there's nothing we don't do for true family." Titania sighs, reaching up to one of the trees and drawing down a fruit for each of them, "At the time, Oberon had declared war against me, his tricksters trying to drive my people literally mad...we'd been apart for centuries by then; he'd had lovers, most of them men, and I'd met Death, and had fallen in love with him myself. Oberon was planning to use the humans, though; to gain their favour and then take their freedom. With our laws, we kept humans safe; and rare was it that anyone would dare to flaunt it and bring about a problem for the humans." There's a deep kind of power and wrath in her words, one that speaks of that rule getting broken, and Stiles shudders, remembering Lydia's talk of virgins stolen from their beds for the feeding of the Great Worm. "I lost my son; my first-born, to Oberon's attempts at conquering the human world, and then your mother came to me, with a human for a mate...it was a chance. Just a barest chance. With my bloodline, we could weave magicks into your world, places where the veil between the humans and ourselves were thin enough to cross; but thick enough to keep those who weren't worthy at bay. Your Derek's ancestors were charged with protecting those caring for the veil; your mother was meant to keep it strong through my bloodline."
"And now both of the bloodlines have ended…" Stiles breathed, looking at Derek with wide eyes, "What does that mean?"
"I don't know," Titania sighed.
Stiles and Derek go back to their rooms, and Stiles makes the apartment transform once again, the space between them beginning to itch at him. Stiles lets Derek sit on the endless bed, and climbs into his lap without warning or permission, "Just stop...Stop thinking." Stiles breathes, kissing him soft and hot.
"I'm the reason my family's dead." Derek tells him in a dead voice, and Stiles is abruptly furious, pushing Derek back down on the bed and looming over him.
"No. A psychotic whore who violated and used you is the reason your family is dead-her name was Kate Argent. You wanna know why we died? Because of Kate fucking Argent. She had you, Derek. She was fucking...she was torturing you, and I lost all control. I tore her apart and obliterated her, and it still wasn't enough. She...Derek, she wasn't even human. She was more a monster than anything I've ever seen before, and I watched the kamina drop my car on my mechanic!" Derek gripped Stiles's hips, keeping him steady as he kind of fell apart, "You have nothing to blame yourself for, Derek. Nothing. She played you-"
"I let myself be play-" Stiles cut him off with a glare.
"You...were sixteen. You didn't know any better; you didn't know outside of pack. And, yeah, I'm not much older than you were, but I know you and I love you, and if there's one thing I have always been able to do, it's trust that you won't hurt me. You've protected me and kept me alive, Derek. You don't even remember, but...God, you lost so much, Derek, and you kept going, and you fought your way through." Stiles cradled Derek's face between his hands, kissing him soft and sweetly, "You are not to blame for the fire, Derek. You aren't to blame for any of it. You take so much on your shoulders and it kills me because sometimes you look at me like you're blaming yourself for when my life gets hard."
"It's my fault-"
"It's your fault I'm not an invisible, miserable little high school student crushing after a girl I don't really want and will never ever have, getting drunk and doing stupid, reckless shit that would've gotten me killed in stupid and reckless ways. You aren't the cause of my problems, Derek, you're the solution. You're the one keeping me alive." Derek looks like he's about to say something, but Stiles doesn't want to hear another single solitary word fall from Derek's lips if it's not 'you're right, Stiles', so he kisses him. Stiles presses his body against Derek's front, hugging him tight as the kiss ends, nuzzling into his throat and sighing as he runs his fingers through Derek's hair, "Stop it, Derek. I love you, I need you like breathing, and I need you to stop." Derek's breath catches, his arms wrapping around Stiles's waist slowly as he just shuts his eyes and goes lax under Stiles's familiar weight. Stiles rises up slightly, littering kisses over Derek's face and neck, his desperation and pain stronger than his arousal because Stiles can't bear that Derek's taken this on his back again, that his mother would let him. "I need to have a talk with your family, my sourwolf. Stay here and relax for a little while?" Stiles steals a kiss, and then shifts the rooms as he stands up and back before Derek can move. The bed under Derek shifts into a pool-sized bathtub, and Derek's body crashes through the water immediately, shocking him and sending him flailing upwards as Stiles cackles.
Stiles, however, is literally standing on the water, his body floating above sinking into the warm, clear waves Derek's splashing up. Derek surfaces scowling, looks up at him with a hard note in his face, reaches out before Stiles can stop laughing enough to react, and yanks, bringing Stiles crashing down into the water, too. Stiles sputters, snorting the water out of his nose before they're both cackling hysterically, trying to keep from sinking in their clothes. Stiles presses in close, fingers nimble and clever as he stripped off Derek's sopping clothes and made them disappear. "That's a neat trick." Derek comments, cocky half-smile against Stiles's lips, "Now make yours vanish, too."
"I am going to talk to your mom-"
"No. You're going to stay here." Derek growled, and Stiles felt himself hardening at the mere sound of Derek's voice. "Stay here, and make me stop thinking…"
Derek covers any protest Stiles could've voiced with his mouth, curving a hand under his hips and hooking his legs around Derek's waist.
Stiles was not the one that just made his clothes disappear, nor did he turn the bath back into a bed, but he isn't complaining. Derek's touches are all tentative and sweet, in a way that Derek hadn't quite allowed himself before. He was vulnerable like this, letting Stiles see things Derek would've kept buried and hidden, even after admitting he loved him.
Really, Stiles had known. He'd always known that Derek was happy with him, that he needed him, that he balanced him. It was in the way he ran his pack, and it was in the way he lived his life. He'd never needed Derek to be like this for him; never needed him to be this sweet and tender. Mostly, he'd never needed it because seeing Derek like this; seeing him asking with every soft touch and every whisper of breath over his skin, Derek was killing him, shredding him from the inside out, because this sweetness was too much for anyone to survive. Derek dipped his tongue between Stiles's lips, his hand a hot, solid pressure on Stiles's hip, encouraging it up around his waist as he traced the curve of smooth skin over the slope of Stiles's thigh, under the angle of his knee. Stiles was kissed until he was breathless, until he forgot how to exist, and Derek's mouth simply refused to leave his skin, tracing slow and steady over his jaw, down the line of his throat to his collarbones, his tongue laving over the smooth lines of Stiles's collarbones, lips hot and soft and sucking light, fleeting bruises into the pale skin beneath his mouth. Stiles shifted as Derek's hand slipped behind him, his fingers almost accidentally slipping into place, blunt and hot and dry, pressed all too momentarily against his entrance before he took them away, sliding his hand forward over Stiles's balls, pressing against the pressure point just behind them and forcing a choked moan out of Stiles's throat as his big hand wrapped around Stiles's dick and his own, precum slicking the way.
Stiles clung to his shoulders, arching into him in a delicious stretch that bared his throat entirely, his body one gloriously pale arc. Derek caught his small, broken sound on his tongue, picking up a slow grind to calm the frantic rut Stiles worked his hips into. Stiles's hand shook on his shoulder, sliding slowly over the flow of his muscles and diverting up into his hair, pulling Derek into a long, languid kiss, sucking on his tongue and fucking his own in a mirror to Derek's slow movements into Derek's mouth. Derek clutched him almost desperately then, panting the same air as he calmed himself back down, moving his mouth along the column of Stiles's throat with an almost studious care, tracing tendons with his tongue and nipping just lightly with his teeth, touching all the lighter for it, driving him insane.
Stiles pressed down against Derek's hands, reaching up for his mouth desperately, a writhing mess between Derek's arms as he slowly mapped out the lines of Stiles's body by touch. The closer Stiles got, Derek's hand seemed to infinitesimally squeeze them tighter, until Stiles was nearly sobbing through his orgasm, his whole body trembling and weak against Derek's as he reached down to fist his hand around Derek's, stroking with him and thumbing Derek's tip on the upstroke, sucking on his lower lip until it would've bruised. Derek's body shuddered above him in lieu of making a sound, and Stiles sighed softly, coaxing him down against his body and wrapping him up in his arms.
There's something Stiles has wanted to do for a long time, something he knew from the start Derek would never let him do if he was himself. Stiles turns their positions so that he lays half-draped over Derek's chest, sharing Derek's sated, easy smile. Stiles's fingers trace over the cradle of Derek's opposite shoulder, letting his legs tangle with Derek's under the blankets, "If I asked you to stay as still as you could…" Derek's lashes bow in a thick fringe as he looks down at him, and Stiles knows suddenly where he wants to start. With just that look, Derek manages to communicate that he'd stay as still as he could-which Stiles knows would be damn statuesque. "Just…" Stiles twists, bringing himself up to straddle Derek's waist, sloping forward to press his lips to the black smudges that flutter closed against the blade-like cut of Derek's cheekbones, "just let me do this...you can move, but...stay a little bit still." Stiles breathes, the sharp, upturned tip of his nose tracing down the line of Derek's until they rest levelled, lips just so close to touching. Stiles feels Derek sigh against his mouth, and he catches up Derek's lips, memorizing the feel of them, as if it was a new way for Derek to kiss. With infinite familiarity, Stiles slides his mouth over the soft plane of stubble on his cheek, kissing sweetly. Slowly, with touches that just barely made contact on Derek's matchless skin, Stiles traces over Derek's forearms, knitting their fingers together as he sat back, pulling one hand to his mouth, kissing his knuckles, sucking gently on the skin that should, by rights, be scarred from the abuse Derek puts his body through. Stiles slips Derek's finger between his lips, sucking on a part of the digit, his eyes opening to look at Derek, to take it in.
It was rare that Stiles got the chance to watch; to study. Derek took him apart with the ease of someone who had learned every place to touch; even forgetting who he was, he seemed to know Stiles's body as if it was engrained. Stiles wanted that. Stiles wanted to know Derek's body better than he knew his own, wanted to take his time on every inch of skin and watch Derek fall apart. Stiles slid his hand around, cupping the palm of Derek's hand against his mouth and kissing softly as he nuzzled into his hand, watching him through his lashes as he slowly nipped his way over the heel of Derek's hand, down to the soft skin of his inner wrist, breathing in against the heat there before he bit down on the tendons, just enough to mark. Derek's chest rose and fell in a gasp, his eyelashes fluttering as he swallowed, mouth fallen open to be taken. Stiles's eyes rolled shut, his mouth trailing down over the inside of Derek's forearm, his hand tracing almost too gently over the muscles lining Derek's arm, laying his hand against the bed as he marked Derek's bicep with teeth and lips and tongue, pulling off to lay in the crook of his shoulder and breathe in the perfect smell of him, spices and rain and sunshine in the hollow of his throat, Stiles's mouth slow and sweet on the skin as if savouring the taste of it. Derek moaned brokenly, his other hand slipping free of Stiles's to trail slowly up his back and into his hair, a light pull begging for a kiss. Stiles pressed down against him, sliding both arms around him gently as he kissed Derek long and too lightly, teasing with the taste. Derek moved against him, a slow roll of muscles that had Stiles slowly moving from his mouth, down to the opposite shoulder, licking at the light sheen of sweat gathering over Derek's skin. Derek rumbled a low moan, the sound vibrating through Stiles's chest where they were pressed heart to heart, and Stiles smiled with a kind of mischief that had Derek's hips bucking abortively, his neck laid bare and vulnerable as he groaned.
"You don't even know…" Stiles breathed, lips dragging over his skin, "you don't know how gorgeous you are." Stiles brushed the backs of his fingers over Derek's cheek, his thumb over Derek's lips, "You use it like a weapon, but you don't understand it." Derek's hands moved to grip the backs of Stiles's thighs, his features open and vulnerable and completely yielding, "Stop being a weapon, Derek. Just be." Derek jerked and arched mouth-wateringly, Stiles's hand sliding over the smooth expanse of Derek's chest, thumbing his nipple before he bent to take the pebbled skin into his mouth, teasing the other with his fingers. Stiles knew what Kate had liked to do to him; licking the valley between his abs like she'd owned him, and it made Stiles flash with possession that she'd touched Derek like that, had left a mark. Even now, with Derek unmarked entirely; with no memory of Kate beyond Stiles's own recollection of Derek telling him to stop and everything that came out like a poison from a wound after...he couldn't bring himself to write over the memory. Carefully, Stiles pressed open-mouth, claiming kisses over the hills of Derek's ribs, down the effortless curve of his waist to the cut of his hip, fingers curled over his stomach as he mouthed over Derek's rolling and panting chest and stomach, leaving a harsher bite than any yet on the swell of his pectoral.
"Wh-Why are you being so gentle with me?" Derek asked breathlessly, his eyes mostly black as he tried to move to look Stiles in the eye.
Stiles's hand slipped further down, running his thumb over the cut of Derek's hip like he was testing the blade of a knife, slipping between his thighs and stroking him hard once, just to watch him writhe, "You're gentle with me all the time...I'm not sure anyone's ever been gentle with you, though." Stiles told him, keeping his hand curled around Derek's dick while he ran his teeth over the sharp definition of his hips not even hard enough to flush the skin. Derek whimpered above him, his hand curling in the bedclothes as Stiles let the moment before contact drag out, the tip of his tongue darting out over Derek's blazing hot tip, lapping up precum and sucking the head into his mouth. Stiles's thumb brushed over the sensitive skin connecting Derek's thigh to his groin, relishing the heat of him.
Derek's hips twisted and twitched, his eyes bleeding red and hazel by turns as he stared down his body at Stiles's pretty pink mouth stretched around his cock. Stiles's name tumbled from his lips over and over for a moment, his body conflicted and betraying him, wanting Stiles spread out under him like a feast and never wanting the hard-soft-hard suction of Stiles's mouth on his cock to end.
Stiles pulls off with a vulgar pop, licking the hard ridge of the inside of Derek's thigh, biting the soft skin. Sitting up, Stiles prowls up his body, lowering himself for a kiss and relinquishing as Derek grabs and flips them with something bordering on a snarl. Derek's hand folds over his cock, his tongue sliding into Stiles's mouth as he touches Stiles in as many places as he can reach, a frenzy of lips and hands. "L-Lube…" Stiles manages, eyes fluttering as Derek tugs at him and kisses over his jaw. They barely last through the breathless, efficient prep, and Stiles shoves down despite being a little too tight, biting nearly through his lower lip. Derek sucks it into his mouth, hands gripping Stiles's hips and forcing him to stop trying to impale himself on Derek's cock. Stiles whimpers, holding on tight and giving himself over easily as Derek starts to thrust slow and deep, and they don't last at all, but lasting wasn't the point. Derek's shaking, his eyes bleeding red, his control still there, but loosened after having Stiles take him apart like that. Stiles had no doubt that Derek would've run if he'd ever lost control like that as himself; Derek would've taken himself away and exhausted himself to the point of not being able to stand in order to school his wolf back to control.
In this world, though, Derek couldn't. He didn't know enough, he needed Stiles, and Stiles wasn't even remotely afraid.
Stiles took Derek's hands, holding him close and giving him something to hold onto as he came down. "I love you." Stiles sighed, "It's okay, it's okay. We're safe, I'm here." Stiles wrapped his arms around Derek as much as he could, letting his sourwolf engulf him in return, "You okay?"
"Y-Yeah…" Derek cleared his throat, holding on like Stiles was a security blanket, "just...feels like I've lost my grip."
Stiles nodded into his chest, "You're safe with me, Derek, and I've never been in danger from you."
"It feels like I'm about to burst out of my skin." Derek told him breathlessly.
"I'd offer to let you go, but that's not happening." Stiles told him, tucking his face into Derek's neck. "Shift." Stiles ordered. Derek separated from him a little, and Stiles watched as red bled into his eyes, his hands getting tangled in the storm-grey fur of his Alpha.
Where Peter's Alpha form had been monstrous and terrifying, Derek's was more wolflike. He wasn't a monster, and it reflected in the form of the beast. Stiles cupped his hand over Derek's muzzle, watching the colour of his fur stand in sharp relief to the colour of Stiles's pale, human fingers. Derek nuzzled down, pushing Stiles's chest until he was laid on his back, Derek's great, wolfy head laying over his ribs and his hands rubbing and scratching through the thick coat over Derek's spine. Derek's eyes closed contentedly, a low rumble of happiness vibrating through his throat. Stiles smiled to himself, rubbing at Derek's floppy ears and trying to hold back a giggle.
"Roll over, I want to cuddle you," Stiles requested quietly, scrubbing his fingers over the scruff of Derek's neck. Derek made a low sound that Stiles knew was addressing the 'roll over', and did just that, snuffling as Stiles curled up around his back, trying to hold Derek despite the massive bulk of Derek's wolf. "When I used to ask you to let me see you as the wolf, you'd refuse. I think you didn't want me to see you as a monster, but you're not. And it doesn't matter, because I was a monster, too, when we died." Stiles shifted closer, and Derek's small perk up was enough to communicate what he was curious about, "I let the power consume me. After...after Hell, it was like there were two of me. One was the monster, the thing that crawled and fought and killed to get out of Hell. The other was who I had been, the part of me that I had to shut out in order to get myself through Hell. When I went to the house...when I heard you screaming in pain because Kate had her fist around your heart, I lost the line between the two." Stiles laid his palm flat against Derek's heart, nuzzling into his fur. Derek heaved a sigh, and Stiles felt him shift in his arms, Derek's hands coming up to brush over his forearms. "Better?" Derek nodded muzzily, a blanket shaping around them, cocooning them off from everything else. Smiling to himself, Stiles pulled it up over his shoulder, pressing his cheek to the triskele. "I don't know the etiquette here, what with it being paradise and all, but I really don't want to leave this bed. Especially not for familial obligations."
"Then let's not leave this bed." Derek's voice was high with relaxation, his breathing deep and even. Fatigue had nothing to do with the drifting doze; he was too calmed. Too soothed to stay awake. Stiles hummed softly in appreciation, his head pillowed on the hard, perfect muscles of Derek's back and his hands pressed against his chest, Derek's own wrapped around his forearms to keep him there. It was a different way for them to be together: Derek had a near-constant urge to hold Stiles. To curl around and protect him, and Stiles loved it, but he liked being able to feel Derek's pulse against his palm. He liked the sensation of having Derek safe in his arms. "Are you worried? About our pack?"
"Yes." Stiles breathed, voice rough, "I feel like leaving them was the worst thing...and I feel like leaving them has just guaranteed that they're not going to be okay." Derek pushed back in Stiles's hold, encouraging him to hold on tighter.
"So, would you want to go back?"
Stiles stiffens, "I…I don't know. Would it be really selfish of me to say no?"
Derek shifted, turning in Stiles's arms so that he could lay down against his thin chest, watching his hand as it caressed over Stiles's pale skin, "No." Derek lifted up onto an elbow, curving his hand around Stiles's neck and into his hair, angling his mouth for a kiss, soft and sweet. "You," Derek sighed, sweeping his thumb over Stiles's cheek and pressing his lips to his jaw, "have been through hell. Literally and figuratively. My mother told me...about what you've done. All that's happened to you since you met me-"
Stiles's fingers slip over Derek's mouth, stemming the flow of words, "None of it was your fault, and all of it was worth it." Moving his fingers, Stiles kisses his lips for punctuation.
Derek smiled softly, taking his hand back and kissing the tips of his fingers, "You've done enough, Stiles. More than enough."
"It feels bad," Stiles whispered.
Derek runs his knuckles over the arch of Stiles's neck, pressing close, "You'd want to go back..."
"Not without you. I'm a masochist, sure, but there's being masochistic and then there's being sick and self-destructive." Stiles's fingers draw down over the dip of Derek's spine, "But you've earned a break as much as I have."
"I think you probably deserve it more to be entirely honest. Most of my decisions seem to have been made with a motivation of guilt and self-loathing." Stiles snorts, nipping his shoulder in punishment, "'S true!"
"It's an attitude like that that got your memory wiped." Stiles growls, fisting his hand in Derek's hair, "Derek, if for the sake of nothing else than my sanity, you belong here. With me."
"You need all the sanity you can get, I can agree to that." Derek teases.
"I have no argument for that, because you are entirely right on that count." Stiles grins, eyes closed, "Titania made it sound like a war was coming. Like we need to go back." He works to keep sadness out of his voice, and Derek squeezes him gently for it, "It's our friends...our family…"
"We're going to have one more day here. We're going to lie in this bed and pretend that there's nothing wrong, that we can spend eternity here and be together. And then we're going to find your grandfather...and we're going to go home."
Stiles pressed a kiss to Derek's forehead, and sighed, watching the blankness above them shape into the galaxies and constellations, holding on to Derek like a lifeline.
Stiles is dreaming of Derek singing lullabyes to a cooing head of messy brown hair and pale, chubby little limbs when Derek slips away from him, padding away and creating a door to let himself out of, knowing Death would be on the other side.
He didn't remember meeting the skeletal man, but he knew that he had, could feel it in his bones, and the cool, jet black eyes that glanced dismissively up at him gave nothing away about it. "There are certain laws to this land...certain rules that not even I can flout, Mr. Hale. You, specifically, are lucky that Titania managed to erase your memories to keep you here. For anyone short of her blood, you would not have been so lucky."
"Stiles and I have to go back."
Death frowns, passing his napkin over his lips and folding it back beside his plate, "I am aware of that. As I am aware that you will be taking the consequences of this on your own shoulders if it's allowed. You want to save him from having to do what he did the first time. It's admirable. And there's only one thing that's stronger than I am, Mr. Hale. Love. Silly, possibly rather naïve, but nonetheless; love is the only thing that can save you." Death looks almost disapproving in his shrewdness, but Derek stands firm, ready and able, "The only way to put you back is to put you back at the beginning. And, that being said, when I return you...only one of you will remember. Only you will remember. It is all up to you. My grandson is no fool; nor was his mother or his grandmother. I trust he knows what he's doing by having faith in you, so I am putting my faith in you as well. Do not disappoint me, Derek. Otherwise, I won't be able to bring you back here. The law says that once you leave this place for life again, you cannot return. I can't change that or bend it but by putting you back in the beginning of all this mess. This is the price for you. Now, I have to go and see two lovely women about taking your places."
"Wait, what do you mean-" Death was gone, along with his meal and the dining hall around them, "What did you mean 'the beginning'?"
Derek went back to Stiles in the endless bed, and they stayed together, laughing, fucking, and talking until they both actually got tired. And now, Derek is standing across from a newly turned Scott and Stiles who flinches and looks confusedly at the ground for a moment before the fidgeting starts up as it had the first time they met like this.
Derek remembers everything. He remembers what happened the first time around, and he remembers what happened when he couldn't remember anything in the other world. But Stiles won't. Stiles doesn't. He's back to the nervous ticks and coltish unbalance. He's back to being free of his visions; of his nightmares. Free of Hell, and free of all he's been put through because Derek and Scott are both idiots. Derek looks at it all, remembers it all, and the part of him that he found in that never-ending place with Stiles starts to demand, starts to pick up arms and gets ready to fight to go through the steps that would get him to Stiles; that would have them together. But he can't. Stiles was dying beside him and he was dying in his arms; he was being beaten by Gerard and he was insisting without a soupçon of doubt that he wasn't a hero. He was holding onto to Derek in the water, keeping him alive because he wanted to, because he couldn't bear to leave Derek to die.
If he stayed away, would Stiles even get his powers? "This is private property." He tells them, and he can hear Stiles say 'Dude, that's Derek Hale.' as he walks back to the burnt out husk of a house with Stiles's magic in the walls.
Derek took a sledgehammer to the house that night. By the dawn, there was nothing left but the foundations and the tunnels he'd been tortured in once upon a time.
He wants to sell the land. He wants to plant it full of trees and make them grow until no one can tell there was a house there.
He remembers that they'd said they were going home; but there was no home for him to go to. Not really.
The pull of Stiles is too strong for him to leave, so he doesn't. He takes care of Peter; he helps Scott in a way he's actually learned from Stiles himself; and he's hit with how miserable Stiles's classmates are all over again.
Stiles's panic starts to have the power to summon him even before it had the first time around, and it's a good thing, too.
The hall going to his apartment reeks of Kate Argent and Stiles and fear, and Derek breaks the door before he can unlock it, the harsh zing of electricity through metal making the wolf tear its way out, because Stiles is being tortured. Stiles is being electrocuted, hooked up to Derek's own damn box spring. Kate was expecting him to just be a wolf, though. She wasn't expecting him to have gained Alpha powers from having killed Peter in the hospital quietly. Still, getting an arrow to the shoulder and thigh hurt. But not enough to slow Derek down from protecting his mate.
"No! Derek, use the bat!" Stiles shouts out, voice hoarse, and Derek startles with it, the familiar piece of wood Stiles had tried to present him as a housewarming present falling into his hand as if summoned. Derek winds up, riding the edge between Alpha and man, and he swings, snapping Kate's neck, almost beheading her.
Derek snaps the manacles cutting into Stiles's wrists in half to get them off, swallowing a low snarl as he seizes Stiles into his arms and just holds on, running his hand over Stiles's body with all the gentleness in the world, looking for other wounds. Stiles whimpers, holding on back, and Derek can smell tears. Stiles has a bruise on his cheek and a black eye, his lips's split, and there's a nasty scrape across his jaw. His knuckles are bruised, like he tried to fight back, and Derek's honestly impressed by that. His clothes are soaked, scorched where she'd been electrocuting him with a wet sponge hooked up to jumper cables. Stiles lets him look, and then he lets him drag him back into his arms, holding on with a strength that could easily snap Stiles in half if it wasn't so hell-bent on protecting him. Stiles's hands shake when he reaches up and softly pets through Derek's hair.
"I'm okay. I'm fine." Stiles breathes, and Derek just holds on tighter, something dangerously close to a whimper sneaking out of his throat. Stiles's lips press to his temple, and his hands stroke, one over his back and one through his hair. When Stiles kisses him, even with the split lip, it feels like he's coming home, and it tastes better than anything Derek's ever tasted, just because it's been so long and he's been dying to have it again. Stiles rests their foreheads together, his eyes closed, "You are an idiot." He growls, "You should have grabbed me and kissed me and not have let me go. Like, ever."
"Y-You...Death told me you wouldn't remember."
"I didn't. And then I did." Stiles brushes his fingers behind Derek's ear, kissing along his jaw, and Derek got the impression that his limbs couldn't be paid to unwind from around Stiles's body, because they weren't about to listen to him when he tried to get them to. "Hug me for a little while longer, and then I'll have to call my dad. Kate took me because she knew I was looking into the fire. Her little arsonist buddies have been dropping dead in weird ways, and then I had a visit from a Fate, bitching at me about you being an idiot. Then I started remembering."
"Yeah. Yeah, that was about my tone of disbelief and abject horror, too." Stiles chirps, tucking his face back against Derek's throat. Derek holds him there, letting his eyes close. "I figured out that you remembered when Peter was 'transferred' to a facility in New York that doesn't exist even though you weren't following him there. I didn't know what was happening, I didn't figure it out until I saw you come through that door." Stiles breathes in like he's trying to memorize Derek's scent, and Derek feels like the relief of having Stiles there and with him will level him completely. "I told you you'd have to keep me forever, sourwolf."
Derek pulled away enough to look him in the eye, laughing and crying and shaking with relief; and he hadn't known-hadn't let himself know-that he'd needed this so badly. That he'd been going through the motions, made of glass, just waiting for something to come along to break him entirely. "What do we tell the police?"
"The truth. I was snooping into the fire and why Laura died; Kate found out somehow, and she ambushed me, brought me here, and you came in, fought with her, and accidentally killed her. Without you, I'd be dead." Derek nods, not registering anything beyond good excuse, and Stiles grabs the back of his head, pulling his face around and pinning him with molten-amber eyes, "Without you. I would be dead." Stiles tells him slowly, with infinite gravity in the words. Derek curls his fingers in Stiles's collar, dragging him forwards and holding onto him.
Stiles calls the sheriff, and they tell him the truth about what happened, even if they leave out the part about how Derek could manage to nearly take her head off with a baseball bat. It's nasty and messy and Derek doesn't want to stay the night there, or in a jail cell, but he doesn't have to do either, actually. Even the grossed out intern for the coroner looks appreciative once Stiles tells them what Kate had been doing to him. Stiles sits with Derek. Shoulder to shoulder and with their hands actually intertwined, hidden between where their legs nearly meet. No one notices that, though, and Stiles actually scowls his father into submission as he tries to get Stiles alone to take his statement.
"And, with all that, I would now like to go home. Derek will take me." Derek nodded immediately, supporting Stiles with one arm as he gets arduously to his feet, looking pale and tired and sickly in a way that made Derek's stomach clench. Stiles leaned against him slightly just to stand, and the sheriff got a knowing glint in his eye watching the way Derek's attention focussed totally on Stiles and making sure he stayed on his feet.
"I won't be home tonight."
"If you don't mind me on your couch, I'll make sure Stiles is okay tonight." The sheriff's look receives a nod from Derek, and he looks satisfied.
"My son is sixteen, Mr. Hale. I can make it look like a painful accident."
"Understood completely, sir."
Stiles is killing himself trying not to laugh as he lets Derek half-carry him out of the apartment building, sitting him carefully in the Camaro, headed for food before pulling into the driveway of the Stilinski home. Stiles sighs, "When I said home...I did mean this, but I couldn't help but think of our house, too. Our home." Derek reaches over and coaxes him into a soft, chaste kiss. "You took the house down?"
"After what happened, all the things that happened there, I didn't want to look at it anymore." Derek tells him, "And I wasn't planning on ever really having you again."
"That particularly was a stupid decision." Stiles told him, but he did it with a smile, climbing out of the car with a low grunt.
Derek was at his side immediately, taking the bag of food and supporting him, "You should've gone to the hospital."
"I'm not that badly injured." Stiles scoffed, "Hell, I've had worse on the lacrosse field, it's just that I'm sore." Stiles stole a kiss, resting against Derek's side for a moment before forcing himself to press on.
Death looked up at them from Stiles's dining room table, and Stiles angled himself in front of Derek protectively, and a small smile ghosted over the Horseman's lips, "No attack. Nothing of the sort. I'm here to right the wrongs and put the world back on course. Derek, trying to avoid the creation of your pack was foolish. They are your family. What did I tell you?"
"Love is the only thing that can save us."
Death actually deigned to look pleased, "And love has saved you. With a little help from Fate, I hear, but a push is common for most like the two of you." Death pushed back from the table, standing his full height, "But there was a complication, you see. You created a life in the other world. A life that was mirrored in this one. Laura Hale was pregnant when she died, boys. And the law is a life for a life."
Death reached around the table, bringing up a tiny bundle. Stiles stepped forward automatically, his arms reaching out for the fussing baby girl.
"She is yours. The both of you. And while I can't help it that you are sixteen, I will tell your family of what's happened. I suggest you raise her together, gentlemen. She's the fulfillment of what's been coming for a long, long time." Death brushed his hand over her forehead, a tender look on his face as he disappeared, leaving Stiles standing with a baby in his arms.
Derek came around, Stiles leaning on his chest and their baby between them.
The front door crashed open violently, and a pack of teenage werewolves tripped over each other to get in, three humans climbing over the mess of limbs to get to Stiles and Derek and the baby, Allison beaming and Danny glowing quietly, Lydia weeping she was so happy. "You are an idiot, Derek Hale, you have no idea."
"D-Do you all remember…?" Stiles asked, looking from Allison to Danny. They both nodded, each with a little hand wrapped around one of their fingers. Scott managed to extricate himself and walk over, followed by Erica and then Isaac, Jackson and Boyd lingering at the door, almost afraid to join their friends.
"You're not allowed to die again." Scott told him quietly, hugging Stiles awkwardly while the baby was cooed over.
Stiles nodded in agreement, pressing his back into Derek's palm, tired and hungry and sore. Erica took the food, yelling to Jackson and Boyd to go get more of it, and Stiles looked round to Derek, a question in his eyes before he handed Derek their child. Derek was in shock, taking the baby like a pro but not tearing his eyes off of Stiles, still wide and almost horrified. "You-We…"
"We're not alone, Derek." Stiles whispered, "We won't be doing this alone. Will you-?" Stiles cut off as Derek kissed him hard, tears falling from his eyes as he looked down at the baby.
"Yes." Derek breathed, "She looks useful. I think we should keep her." Stiles shook with laughter at the mischief in Derek's voice, laying his head down on Derek's shoulder.
"Let's get Stiles cleaned up." Allison ordered softly, taking Stiles's hand. She and Lydia helped Stiles upstairs, getting him clothes as he showered and checking the wounds on his wrists from the manacles, Lydia growling that someone had hurt him and Allison quietly dying in apology that it was her aunt. Isaac and Danny were cradled around the baby when they came back down, Danny singing quietly to her as he held her, Derek tense and drawn, but willing to let their pack; their family hold his baby girl. "I hope she has Stiles's colouring." Allison giggled, tears in her eyes.
"And Derek's eyes," Lydia added.
"Either way she'd got good cheekbones." Erica muttered boredly from the very seat Death had sat in. Stiles walked down the last few steps and slid his hand in Derek's, leaning into his shoulder, "And there's a good chance she'll have a cute nose."
Lydia hummed in agreement, holding out her arms for the baby, which drew Jackson to her side like he was summoned. Derek walked Stiles through the kitchen, getting him a glass of juice and making him a plate silently, movements smooth and practiced. Stiles sipped the juice as Derek took his hand again with the plate in the other, walking him to the table and getting him sitting down and comfortable before he kissed Stiles's temple and sat down close enough to touch. Scott came as if called, balancing the baby as he sat in the seat next to Stiles and across from Derek, Allison leaning over his shoulder to tuck down a corner of the blanket swaddling her. Boyd appeared with a store's worth of baby items, and Erica handed Derek back his credit card once Boyd handed it to her. "Looks like I'm building us a house," Derek murmured softly, happily, and it spread through Stiles's chest, happiness so intense it was pain as he reached over for a kiss, passing a hand over his daughter's tiny chest.
Isaac, Jackson, and Scott setting up the bassinette was the most hysterically funny thing any of them had ever seen; Lydia agreed to be godmother, Scott and Allison to be guardians should anything happen to them; Danny taught Stiles the lullaby he was singing to her; Erica, though for all intents and purposes, she didn't care, appeared with a list of baby names suitable; Boyd and Derek had some sort of silent communication going on about what would happen if she turned out to be a wolf more than a fairy; the sheriff far more eager to see his grandchild than he'd let on as he threatened Derek hollowly, remembering just as much as the rest of them, and then joining in and setting up the bassinette almost single-handedly; and Stiles and Derek sat wrapped around their child in the middle of the chaos and noise-the heart of the family, home.