Stiles wakes up one morning in a large bed, in a huge house, with no memory of where he is and why there are pictures of him and his friends - that he doesn’t remember taking - on every available surface. The mirror tells him he’s way older than he thinks he should be, and the couch downstairs reveals a sleepy disheveled hottie that he in no way could have landed.
The hottie gives him a sheepish look and apologizes for the night before, to which Stiles nods noncommittally. Then they eat breakfast, like it’s something they do every day, after which the hottie - Derek Hale, his mail provides - goes up into the master bedroom to get dressed.
That’s where Stiles woke up. If this is his life, his house, his reality, then he’s sharing that bed with that guy.
Derek leaves him with a tentative goodbye, touching his temple gently, like he doesn’t dare do anything more. Part of Stiles wants to jump his bones, right here, right now, but that’s just the part of him that is still mentally a virgin. The rest of him is analyzing everything in silent, horrified fascination.
He doesn’t have enough time to snoop around the house to figure out how he ended up here or even what he and Derek McHotass fought over last night; Scott shows up unannounced with a baby in his arms, and dumps her adorable little tushie with Stiles, all the while giving Stiles worried looks, asking how he’s doing after last night. Maybe Stiles called him after the fight? So they’re still best friends? That makes Stiles feel a whole lot better, and he lets himself move on from his existential crisis to the fact that HE’S BABYSITTING A BRAND NEW MCCALL.
People come and go all day and Stiles lies his ass off. Mostly by omission, but it’s still a whole lot of lying, and by the time Derek gets back he’s exhausted.
He forgets to second-guess himself for one second—one tiny second—and he reaches for Derek’s cheek instead of his arm, touching him the way he imagines that he always must have, because let’s face it, that stubble is doing things to him and he doesn’t even remember it, doesn’t remember falling in love with it or touching it or kissing it, but he must have, obviously, only - Derek freezes when his fingers make contact and Stiles suddenly remembers.
The fight wasn’t with Derek. It was with a troll. Stiles got knocked unconscious. Derek said he would watch him, make sure he doesn’t have a concussion. (Bang up job on that one, Derek.) This is Derek’s house. It’s the pack house. Derek and Stiles are friends. Scott is married to Kira. The guy with the curls is Isaac. Lydia is a banshee. His dad is not-so-secretly dating Melissa.
Stiles is single. He did not land this hottie. That stubble was never his to touch.
Stiles pulls his hand back as if burned, and promptly has a panic attack.
[[[ jerakeenc I’m hoping this response ficlet is okay… I thought it might be based on your response to one note… although it’s not so much writing the prompt as just responding to what you did…]]]
Derek can smell the exhaustion on Stiles as soon as he walks in the house. He can smell Stiles as soon as he walks in the house, overwhelming and intruding, invading his senses in a way that doesn’t normally happen. It’s not like Stiles isn’t there more often than not. It’s a pack house. Stiles and Derek have become friends. Their scents have intermingled but not like this before.
Never like this.
When Derek passes through the living room, Stiles gives him a distracted wave, and for a moment Derek thinks about sending him upstairs to nap. Not yet, though, not until Derek has his own turn in the bedroom. Then he can give it over to his unexpected house guest. Instead, Derek points at the kitchen, quietly says, “I brought home food, if you’re up for eating.”
He doesn’t know how to interpret the look Stiles gives him. He can feel the quiet waves of tension that come off of him, and Derek needs to escape it, just for a moment, before he gives in to something that he can’t do. Not where Stiles would see.
His bedroom is worse, sweat and pain from the night before making the scent stronger. Derek strips quickly, shedding clothes appropriate for a high school teacher and yanking on a comfortable blue henley and a pair of jeans. He tries not to look at the bed and think of how still and pale Stiles was last night, how he whimpered in pain until Derek sat by him and held his hand, leaching the pain away until he couldn’t stay awake any longer.
Derek had stumbled down the stairs to sleep on the couch, so Stiles wouldn’t wake to find him collapsed on the bed, holding his hand. There is a part of him that wishes he’d stayed, wishes he’d had that courage.
But he didn’t.
He goes back downstairs to find Stiles at the table, and he slots himself into an empty seat, taking his own plate of food. Stiles makes small talk, asking about his day, sounding interested in the antics of the seventh graders that Derek teaches, asking even more questions than usual. Derek trails off in the middle of a sentence when he realizes that Stiles has gone still.
"What is it?"
Stiles reaches out idly, fingers grazing Derek’s cheek like it’s nothing. Like they touch all the time, with Stiles’s eyes liquid with warmth and affection. Like this isn’t a dinner with the pack but something more, and Derek feels that down into his gut, twisting into heat that has no place here between them.
He freezes, and he sees the moment that Stiles’s notices what he’s done.
Stiles yanks his hand back, eyes bright and wide and more awake than they’ve been all day. He opens his mouth, closes it again, breath hissing out in a high pitched wheeze. Derek can hear the rabbit-fast beat of his heart, slipping up into a fevered pitch that’s too fast to capture.
He smells the panic before Stiles makes an aborted sound, hand fluttering in front of his chest, and Derek is out of his chair, reaching for Stiles’s hands with both of his own.
He doesn’t think, just draws Stiles in, pulling him close, wrapping his arms around him and whispering nothing words, making low sounds that might be comforting, he isn’t sure. He cards his fingers through Stiles’s hair, holds him only as tight as Stiles seems to want, just tries to give him an anchor to ride out the attack. He adds in touches slowly, fingers skating along Stiles’s cheek, lips pressing against his temple. Actions without though, just instinct guiding Derek until he hears a long, ratcheting breath and Stiles breathes a little easier.
He asks if Stiles is okay and Stiles only manages to nod, but he doesn’t leave the circle of Derek’s arms. And if Derek is honest with himself, that’s okay. He likes having Stiles here, smelling the way their scents mix together, almost as well as they are mixed upstairs. He’s always liked it. He just doesn’t know how to tell Stiles that.
"You should stay again tonight," Derek finally says quietly. "You’re in no shape to go home. Maybe you have a concussion after all."
"Maybe," Stiles says dryly. "I had no idea who you were when I woke up this morning. Good job on monitoring, Derek. Great job. Fantastic job.”
Derek draws back abruptly. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
"Because I thought we were—" Stiles stops abruptly, his hand gesturing between them before it drops. "Because I’m an idiot, okay? And I am too tired to be talking right now. So I’m going to take you up on your offer and I’m going to go pass out in your huge, comfortable bed and sleep for a few hours before I go home."
There is honesty and anxiety threaded through his words, enough that Derek follows him up the stairs, even though he doesn’t want to go back into that space that smells strangely like them, especially with Stiles right there. “Does it hurt?”
Stiles laughs, the sound low and sharp. “Funny you should ask. No, my head is fine.”
Yes, his scent says. Yes, something hurts.
Derek steps forward, pressing his hand against Stiles’s cheek, brow furrowed as he tries to figure out what it is. He reaches for the pain but nothing comes.
"You can’t help." Stiles knocks his hand away.
Derek’s jaw tightens because this is why he pushes everything down. This is why he keeps his distance. “Fine.” He means to growl the word, but it comes out resigned. Quiet. Almost sheepish as Derek draws back, gaze dropping.
"It’s not…" Stiles sits on the bed in a flurry of motion, shoving the blankets out of the way. "I had no idea what was going on when I woke up. I didn’t remember the fight with the troll. I didn’t remember Scott being married, or Isaac, or… or you."
Derek isn’t looking directly at him, can’t see the specifics of his movement but he can catch the broad strokes. The way Stiles inches back on the bed, pulling at the blankets and burying himself in them, as if he can hide from Derek. It doesn’t change the level of tension in the room, or the rising scent of frustration. He inhales, trying to tease it out, to read the emotion behind the words.
He thinks he gets it.
He hopes he gets it.
"Sleep, Stiles," he says quietly. "I’ll come back and check on you in an hour or two. We’ll talk again in the morning, when you’re sure you remember who you are." There’s a low whine of irritation, and Derek does growl this time, low and soft, and almost meant to be reassuring. Protective. "You’re not an idiot," he tells Stiles. "Not any more than I am."
He leaves Stiles with that, not clarifying. Not now, because he is not going to try to have this conversation with a man who’s brain is still muddled after a troll attack.
But maybe they will have the conversation in the morning. Maybe Derek will finally say something.
It’s a strange feeling, the way hope blooms, but Derek likes the scent of it. Hope almost smells like Stiles.
We need more bisexual girls in fiction. Happy out and proud. Sad and closeted and scared. Bi girls of color. Trans and genderqueer and two-spirit bi characters. Bi characters who don’t know they’re bi until someone tells them bisexuality is real. Bi girls pretending to be straight. Bi girls pretending to be lesbians. Immigrant bi girls who have got bigger issues to worry about than being bi. With more diversity in our bi girls in fiction, one bi girl character with internalized biphobia won’t stick out so terribly.(via raggedyanndy)