januarylight: (out together)
[personal profile] januarylight
Wow, I am so very much not as far ahead as I had hoped to be. This is what happens when I don't have a daily manageable deadline! So it'll probably be a few more days again. Uh, sorry!

*

“So,” Stiles says later, and they are in bed but at least the lights are on. His fingers are on Derek’s bare stomach, stroking absently, and he isn’t grossed out by the cooling sweat or anything, but he’s a little surprised Derek isn’t hustling him off to the shower and changing the sheets. It is a schoolnight.

“Yeah?” Derek sounds sleepy.

Stiles is too, and his brain is lagging behind, still caught up in the sex, trying to convince him they could go again, but he feels like it’s easier to ask Derek questions now. He feels like he deserves an answer now, with Derek’s shoulder warm under his cheek, Derek relaxed and content beside him.

“So you think Lydia will come back?”

“She doesn’t actually have anywhere else to go. I wouldn’t let her leave anyway, but she’ll be easier to handle once she figures it out for herself.”

“She’ll resent you,” Stiles says, throwing his leg over Derek’s and blinking, trying to keep the drowsiness at bay. “Like her daddy. Look how well that turned out.”

“And she wondered why I didn’t want to go near her,” Derek mutters.

“Because I’m gorgeous,” Stiles says loftily. “Of course.”

“Obviously.”

“Do you want to make me a werewolf?” Stiles asks, and he doesn’t realise he’s stepped on a landmine until Derek’s shoulder stiffens, Derek’s head lifts, and Stiles belatedly recognises that might’ve sounded like an offer. “I’m only asking!” he says, panicked, although there’s no reason to be. “I’m not saying I’d do it!” Derek’s head doesn’t settle back on the pillow. He doesn’t even look at Stiles. “Because I wouldn’t!”

“No,” Derek says. “No, I don’t want to.”

Stiles is struck silent, and that feels worse than the fear that he’d just agreed to something he couldn’t do, didn’t know if he could handle and couldn’t take back. “You’re lying,” he says, and he believes it after he hears the words. “You’re lying.”

“It isn’t going to happen,” Derek says, voice hard.

“It isn’t your choice.”

“It is. I won’t allow it.”

“I’ll get Scott to do it!” Stiles says, and Derek’s face blanches but Stiles has already heard what he just said and is saying, “No, that’s ridiculous, what am I saying, what would my dad do, I don’t even want to.”

“Scott won’t do it,” Derek says. “I won’t let anybody do it.”

“Lydia almost did it by accident the other day,” Stiles says.

Derek looks terrified.

Christ, Stiles doesn’t understand the words that are coming out of his mouth, he just isn’t going to speak anymore, he clearly cannot be trusted with a tongue. “I mean, kind of, she nearly scratched me, she could have.” Derek’s hand is curling slowly, and Stiles knows he wouldn’t hurt him but he’s afraid anyway. “She didn’t mean it. You can’t make her leave, she didn’t even do anything.”

“I wouldn’t have you in the pack,” Derek says. “If you ever even thought about it.”

Stiles—believes him. And he wouldn’t do it—he couldn’t—but he has been aware of it, the maybe of that future.

“What?” he asks. He hates the way his voice sounds.

“You heard me. You can’t do it.”

“I could do it,” Stiles says, and he’s thinking of what Peter Hale had said, powerful and strong and better, though he hasn’t let himself remember that in a long time. “I know I could.”

“You won’t,” Derek says, final. He stares at Stiles while Stiles struggles to come up with something to say, with a way he can let himself feel. “Maybe you should go.”

“No!” Stiles says, and this is panic. “No, no, I’m staying, you can’t make me.”

“Stiles—“

“Look, just forget I said anything, forget this conversation happened, okay? Things can just stay the way they were, they were fine, they can stay like that. I didn’t even want them to change.” Derek starts to speak, but Stiles can’t let him. “Lie down,” he says quickly, and ignores how sad Derek looks because Derek doesn’t look sad and this ridiculousness isn’t about to make him start. “Just lie down.”

Derek pulls his hands out from between his knees and unfurls, pulling himself up to full height. He gets off the bed slowly, moves quickly to snap off the light, and it’s too long before the mattress dips with his weight. He doesn’t lie close to Stiles, but that’s okay, he’s still there beside him, even if Stiles can’t bring himself to bridge the distance either. The sheet feels cool without Derek’s warmth and Stiles closes his eyes against the darkness. He ignores the shakiness of his breath, the jangling in his head, Derek’s silence and stillness, and spends a long time trying to fall asleep, all languor lost.

He pretends he’s managed it when Derek slides silently out of bed and leaves the room, pretends Derek is buying it.

Derek sits on the couch for a long time. It’s dark and silent and still there too; it’s just somewhere Stiles isn’t.

*
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