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When the stars fall in Autumn

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”Derek.”

”….”

”Derek.”

”….”

”Hey. Dude. Earth to Sourwolf.”

Stiles was beginning to get worried. He was sitting on the bed on his knees, one hand on his bleeding shoulder while the other was used to joggle Derek out of the panicked trance he’d apparently fallen into. Like he was the one who’d suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly been turned into a werewolf’s chew toy and not the one doing the actual chewing.

”Come on man, you’re freaking me out here! This is so not you.”

And it really wasn’t.

Derek was the strong one. The moody one too, maybe. The brooding one, yes, absolutely. But he didn’t do the whole panicing thing, had never been one to panic. At least Stiles hadn’t been there to witness it before. Now the man was just sitting there, hand clamped over his mouth, face bleeding from the wounds his claws made when pressed into the skin of his cheeks.

Then he said something into his hand, voice muffled and incomprehensible. Stiles stilled to listen.

”What?” he asked, unsure if he’d heard correctly.

All shit aside, he was still suffering the side effects of the shot and allthough the sudden bite and the sharp, lingering pain of it helped keep his mind focused, he couldn’t say he was 100% present, as it was. He felt all weird, hot and cold at the same time, dizzy yet alert, almost unbearably so.

And the blood staining the front of his shirt looked too dark to be real, too dark compared to the blood sliding down Derek’s wrist.

Derek closed his eyes. Normal, pale blue eyes. Well, what could be seen of them had been pale, anyway - the dude had the pupils the size of a small coin.

It’s the biting, Stiles thought. Must be. Even Scott likes it, gets excited because of it. He said so when he- no, but that was with Alisson. But if it was a wolf thing it probably didn’t even matter when it happened, and with Derek it hadn’t even been intentional.

Derek put his hands down – noticed the blood, he just now noticed the blood – and clenched it into a fist. ”I’m sorry”, he said. ”I don’t know- I’m- I’m sorry.”

He wouldn’t look at him but the guilt in his voice was unmistakable, the shame in it. Almost like- Stiles choked down a sudden burst of laughter, but it was too late. Derek turned to stare at him, ingredulous and (hurt?) like the very fact that Stiles was laughing at him in a situation like this was something he couldn’t even comprehend.

”I’m sorry I just-”, Stiles tried to get his face in control, he tried, he really, really did.”You’re like Miko when he was little and got caught chewing the living room rug.”

Derek’s eyes bulged. ”Oh, my god, Stiles!” Had he just heard Derek yelp? Stiles was pretty sure he had. ”You did not just- god, do not compare me to your frigging dog!”

”Then don’t act like him.”

Derek buried his head in his hands. ”Just kill me now”, he whined. ”Please, somebody, just kill me. This is too much.”

Stiles, congratulating himself for a job well done after having calmed the older man down - so to speak - sat back on his heels and tried to get a better look at the bite on his shoulder. The angle was all wrong for him to really see anything, though. He looked at his hands and at Derek’s shoulder and finally at the bed in general. Shit. It looked like a frigging murder scene.

”Hey, not to interrupt your stint in the self pity land but I’m leaking like a faucet here. Just ah, friendly reminder. My dad’s gonna skin you if he finds out you let me die of blood loss in my own bed.”

Derek sighed and straightened up again. ”You’re not gonna die”, he said, turning to assess the situation himself. Stiles let him, even turned his head back to make it easier for him to look, Derek didn’t seem to appreciate his efforts though, if the uncomfortable fidgeting was anything to go by.

”There’s too much blood”, he muttered, looking around, searching for something to use to wipe it off. Stiles was going for one of his own pillowcases when Derek was like - fuck it - and started to wipe his shoulder with the sleeve of his own shirt.

Stiles grimaced.

First of all – fuck that hurt!

Secondly – ew!

”Shut up”, Derek said, guessing his thoughts. ”At least I know where my sleeves have been. Who knows when your sheets have even been washed. Or with what.” He did something funny with his nose, like a little bunny. This time Stiles decided to keep his thoughts to himself. ”That Sarah has to get over her obsession with flowers. The detergent she uses…”

”Hey, as long as it removes the stains and keeps the colors bright.”

”Nothing is worth that stench”, Derek retorted, frowning. ”It’s not just her, it’s all of you. With your perfumes and after shaves and scented soaps.” The last one seemed to offend him the most.

Stiles was only really guilty for one of the three himself, but that didn’t mean he got nothing to say in defence of the other two.

”Lydia sometimes uses this pome blossom scented hand soap”, he said offhandedly. ”I think it smells nice.” Derek’s fingers stilled on his shoulder, just for a minute. ”The perfumes are a bit much, sometimes. Depends on her mood really. Malia is different, more like you I guess. She likes showering and the smell of clean skin but she rarely uses products in her hair. Makes her nose itch, she says.”

Their eyes made contact and Stiles smirked. ”It’s all right for you were-munchkins to keep things all natural but the rest of us mortals, we’d rather smell of something other than sweat, you know.”

”Even if you drowned yourself in that god awful shower geel you like I could still smell your sweat underneath it.”

”And on that note”. Stiles pushed Derek off him and stood up. He was done talking about bodily odour with Mr. Supernose, thank you very much. ”I’m going to take a shower now, if you don’t mind”, he said, heading for the bathroom, pretending he had not seen Derek tasting the tip of his fingers.

Which he had.

Damn.

He stopped and turned around.

”You did not just do what I think I saw you do”, he said, accusingly.

Derek looked at him, licking his lips. ”And what’s that?”

Stiles gestured with his hands at him. ”You”, he said. ”licking the blood from your fingers. My blood. What are you, a vampire?”

”There hasn’t been vampires in Beacon Hills for decades.”

”Oh, yeah, cos that’s gonna- wait”, Stiles wasn’t overly proud of how easy it was to distract him, it usually made him look like a fool. ”Vampires are real?”

”As far as I know”, Derek said, clearly enjoying himself now. Well, at least someone’s back to their normal self. ”Haven’t seen one myself, of course. Might be they’ve already been hunted down to extinction.”

”Where do they-”

”Come on, Stiles. Use that big brain of yours. Why do you think the stories are always set on Transylvania?”

”Oh.”

Well that made sense.

”But what do they- no! No, never mind, Shower and me, we have a meeting”, Stiles pointed at Derek. ”You! If you have to be here then make yourself usefull and go let Miko back in. I’m gonna get a shower and change the sheets and I’m going to do that whole shower geel bath thing, so, yeah. Just so you know.”

He was out of the room, finally, on his way to the bathroom and- damn.

”Derek!” He bellowed, knowing full well the man could hear him just fine without him having to raise his voice, but did so anyway. ”Do something about your face. You look like Ronald McDonald.”

”That’s the clown, right?” Derek asked.

Stiles literaly bounced from surprise – he did that so much nowadays he might just as well change his Facebook status from single to a kangaroo – and turned around. Derek had followed behind him all the way to the bathroom door and was now standing right there, offering him his bloody T-Shirt like a guy offering his girl a bouquet of flowers.

To be honest, Stiles would have much rather taken the flowers.

”You can wash this with your own clothes”, Derek said, pushing the piece of clothing into Stiles’ hands and sauntered off, half naked and way too proud of it.

Stiles wondered, and not for the first time, if the mood swings were a werewolf thing or just a Derek thing.

Well at least he wasn’t obsessing over the bite anymore, so there was that.

Stiles, on the other hand, was still very aware of the teeth marks decorating his body. Derek’s teeth marks.

They’d made a joke about it - okay, Stiles had – but it wasn’t okay. It wasn’t normal. Had Derek still been an alpha they’d both be in a heap of trouble. Mostly Derek, cos Stiles’ dad would have killed him, wonderful healing abilities or not.

But he wasn't an alpha anymore and Stiles wasn’t going to turn.

But had he tried to turn him?

That was the question.

Being a beta, that wasn’t something Derek was able to do. Turning someone, that is. But he had been able to, once. Had done it too, multiple times. So he knew how to do it. How it felt to do it.

So had he tried to turn Stiles just now? Not Derek himself, not necessarily, but the wolf in him. For Derek hadn’t been quite himself when he did it, he hadn’t been in control. Even Stiles could tell that much.

Maybe that’s why Derek had been so scared afterwards. A werewolf losing control was bad, but this was Derek they were talking about. To him, having control of his own body was more than sacred, it was absolute. He was aware of the damage he was able to do and he’d been raised to respect it. To have it taken away like that must have scared the shit out of him.

This time around it hadn’t even been someone else forcing him (the one thing Scott had done that Derek had never forgiven him for), just Derek himself. And Stiles, by proxy.

”You sure can’t catch a break with us”, Stiles mumbled, eyeing his shoulder in dismay. That was going to leave a scar. ”Neither can I apparently.”

Stiles showered, changed his sheets, put his clothes (and Derek’s yucky shirt) in the washer and Derek was still there, waiting for him in his room. Miko was there too, keeping his careful distance from Derek. Though it might have been that he was just laying there by the door and Derek was keeping his careful distance from him, but the results were still the same.

They ended up watching animal documentaries on Stiles’ laptop while laying on Stiles’ bed. Okay, Stiles was laying. He wasn’t tired per se, but he was feeling weary and damned if he wasn’t going to relax in his own house. Derek was sitting beside him, leaning against the propped up pillows and judging him silently with his eyes.

”Watch the laptop, don’t watch me”, Stiles mumbled, balancing the thing on his stomach. ”You’re missing stuff. That crocodile has even you beat with his teeth.”

”How come you’re so calm about me biting you?” Derek asked.

He wasn’t angry and the guilt hadn’t made its comeback either, but Stiles was pretty sure that there was at least some amount of annoyment there for a change. It was a frigging rolled coaster with this guy, honestly.

”Why would I not be? You’re a god damn werewolf, about time you started acting like one.” Instead of a grumpy teen wolf with a stick up his ass like he used to be when they first met. ”And like I said before, your not an alpha anymore. It won’t do anything. Other than give me one helluva thing to explain when my dad spots it.”

Then again, if his dad and Sarah left on that carefully planned honey moon trip of theirs when they were supposed to, Stiles might just get away without having to explain anything to anyone.

”That’s not the point.”

”It is cos I say it is and I’m the one who gets to decide this, right? My shoulder, my rules.”

”It’s not that simple”, Derek muttered, sounding resigned.

”It can be”, Stiles said, reaching to pat the man’s leg, He still wasn’t wearing a shirt – "no fit" fiasco had had its short reprise but that was over and done with for now – but at least he still had his jeans on. ”We just have to make it that simple.”

Derek mused on this for quite a bit. ”You’re a moron”, he finally said, like this was some sort of big revelation. Stiles hummed in agreement, like one shold do with an insane person, and patted the leg again. ”And we’re going to talk about this later when you're not all drugged up.”

”Whatever you say.”

”I mean it, Stiles, you can’t just- is that a hippo?”

Stiles looked up from the laptop, where there was indeed a young hippo having a little afternoon swim. ”Yes, why? You scared of them too?”

”Not me, but Peter said he once- what do you mean too?”

”Forget it”, Stiles moved the laptop to rest on Derek’s legs and positioned himself a bit better in his little nest of blankets and pillows. He had lots of pillows, and if his dad’s bed was missing some it was his problem. Stiles could always place the blame on Miko. ”Tell me more about Transylvania?”





”Stiles has a boy in his room”, Sarah told Noah later in the evening. They'd both just come home and she’d gone to check if Stiles wanted anything to eat after having practically slept the whole day through, but having seen who was in the room with him, she’d tip toed her way back downstairs (ninja style) thinking of how to tell the news to her husband.

She’d landed on the Simple the Better -approach.

Noah streched his hands over hid head and yawned. ”It’s okay, Scott does that sometimes when he forgets to actually leave. Stiles is the same. Me and Melissa have had this co-parenting thing going on with them since they were kiddies.”

Apparently her Simpler the Better- approach had proved itself a bit too simple.

”No, but it’s not- it’s Derek.”

”What?” Noah looked at her like she was suddenly speaking in languages. ”What is Derek doing there? Has somebody framed him for murder again? ”

”Wha-? I don’t know!”

”What were they doing?” Noah started for the stairs. ”I swear, if that boy has my boy patching him up again I’m going to do something very drastic. Don’t know what yet, but give me time. I’ll figure it out.”

”Okay, but don’t wake them up”, Sarah called after him. She listened for a bit and then, yes, then Noah’s steps couldn’t be heard anymore. His voice was barely audible, but she managed to hear it nonetheless.

”Wake them up?”