Summary: Derek has just slain a big bad. He feels horrible.
It was cold and dark. Derek hadn’t started shivering yet, but he was damn close. His body ached as it used the last of his energy to stitch itself back together.
He let out a shaky sigh before sitting heavily back against the trunk of a lonely oak tree. Thunder bellowed in the distance, the rain growing heavier and louder. Yet, all he could hear was her dying screams still echoing in his head, weighing on his heart. He had killed her. He had sliced right through her throat with claws and fury.
He was a monster.
He looked down at his blood-covered hands where they lay in his lap. His shoulders slumped. He didn’t actually like to kill, no matter the stories associated with his kind. Over and over, he replayed the scene in his head trying to figure out what he could have done different.
He watched as the rain made enthusiastic attempt to wash the red from his skin, claws and clothes. The dull thud of footsteps caught his attention, but he didn’t look up; too tired and forlorn to care who they could belong to.
“Stiles,” responded Derek in a low voice, raising his chin enough to glance up at the boy. “What are you still doing here?”
“Dad’s off tonight, I can’t go home like this,” explained Stiles while gesturing at himself.
Normally, his movements were always so animated and sharp. It was obvious just how tired he was now, with his gesturing only being the bare minimum. Derek quickly looked Stile over for any obvious wounds, but Stiles seemed alright save for how shaken he was. Derek could see it in his face, would know it even if he couldn’t hear Stiles’ hammering heart. His clothes were torn and soaked and his lip was split, but he would live.
“Well, go find somewhere else to crash,” said Derek. It came out sounding sharp like how he used to snap at Stiles, so he smoothed it over with a slightly softer, “you look exhausted.”
Stiles didn’t reply, just took a step closer to Derek. It made Derek tense.
“I could hurt you,” he warned, memories of earlier flashing behind his eyes, yet again. Would they fade with time?
“But you won’t,” said Stiles. He sounded so certain.
Derek growled, rubbing a hand over his face in frustration. The woman’s scream echoed in his head all over again. The way it turned to gurgling as blood filled her throat had his stomach churning. He bit back a gag.
"I’m a monster,” he ground out before looking away.
“We’re all monsters,” said Stiles with a shrug.
Derek ignored him.
“C’mon, Derek,” he said a few moments later just above a whisper, “I’m a feeble little human who was just in a supernatural showdown, I need my alpha.”
Derek shivered at the words. He knew Stiles was just trying to get to him so Derek get up and to safety, but 'need' and 'my alpha' from Stiles' lips... it was everything.
“I trust you,” said Stiles in a whisper before reaching down to touch the side of Derek’s face. Maybe Derek should have taken affront at the difference in their positions, him lower and Stiles looming over him, but he couldn’t care right then. Besides, his pack was nowhere nearby to see.
“You shouldn’t,” whispered Derek, throat dry. All he ever did was fail those he cared about.
Stiles cupped Derek’s face and, for a few crazy seconds, Derek thought Stiles was going to lean down to kiss him. Instead, Stiles sat down in the sparsely grassed mud at Derek’s feet. Lower than his alpha. It was so purposeful. Derek’s heart was in his throat.
Stiles crawled into Derek’s lap, folding himself up small enough to fit there. He twisted in Derek’s lap to press his face into Derek’s neck and inhale deeply. Derek could feel goosebumps on his arms as he allowed it. He shouldn’t allow it. He was the alpha.
Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles, pulling him impossibly closer. They sat with Derek’s back against the tree and Stiles between his legs, facing him and leaning in against his chest. Stiles’ shivering lessened.
Derek caught himself a few times mindlessly watching rain drops drip down the curve of Stiles’ nose. They really should have left right away, shouldn’t be sitting around the scene of the crime. Instead, Derek rocked them ever so slightly and listened as Stiles’ heart began to slow.
Stiles felt good in his arms, even if he was tall and awkward with long limbs that didn’t fold up so easily. He could feel Stiles’ trust, understood his relief at having someone. Derek wanted to keep Stiles forever, wanted to have someone. Not just 'someone', though... Stiles.
The rain continued to pour, the thunder banged and drummed as it rolled away with the wind. Derek’s body ached and stung as it healed. He could feel tendons stretching back into place, could feel his skin growing to cover his open wounds, felt his muscles replacing themselves and knitting into one another. It took so much energy to do. He was exhausted, was starving, and, before Stiles' comforting touch, so very alone.
He leaned his forehead against Stiles’ collarbone. Sirens were screaming in the distance, but they were still far away. Stiles was healing him with his touch, with his trust. Derek could feel his heart untwisting as Stiles squirmed in closer against his chest. Derek let out a soft sigh and pressed his nose to Stiles' neck, closing his eyes and trying to push the woman’s last breaths from his mind. She had been innocent, had been twisted by an evil that was still out there somewhere, and it weighed on Derek’s conscience that they couldn’t save her, only put her down.
“You really trust me?” he asked tentatively.
“Of course,” was Stiles' immediate answer.
The sirens were closer. Derek pressed his lips against Stiles’ neck for a soft kiss that he hoped Stiles wouldn’t notice. He gave him a parting squeeze before standing. It was a bit of a struggle, but he was mostly healed by then.
“We have to go,” he said, “the police are nearly here.”
Stiles nodded, but remained a rag doll in Derek’s arms for a few more beats before finally putting weight back on his feet –not that he was heavy.
“So tired,” he slurred and Derek empathized entirely.
They were running for the trees by the time the sirens came into Stiles’ hearing range. They’d regroup at Derek’s house; the pack knew to go there when they were separated.
Original posted here