AU in which we have nice things
Stiles didn’t close the tap in his shower properly after bathing last and a lone drop of water escapes every eleven seconds or so. Derek listens until he thinks he’ll be able to recall the exact sound of a droplet against porcelain for days to come before moving on to the next nightly disturbance. The Stilinski house settles. The wind outside whistles. A single branch on the tree beyond Stiles’s bedroom window occasionally sways to scrape the glass. Close-cropped hair tickles Derek’s chin and a steady heartbeat persists amongst his own.
Derek had not in many years endured a night so silent before his return to Beacon Hills. The soundtrack of his life in New York City seemed to consist of an incessant stream of traffic, conversation, and police sirens. It kept him awake for days on end in the beginning, bombarded his senses and cluttered his conscious mind until every sound, sight, and smell seemed to become homogenous. Derek worked to separate them — learned to operate in a state of constant vigilance. So much that did for him, in the end.
Derek pushes those thoughts to a different place in his mind.
Instead, he focuses on the figure atop him; he allows himself to feel the warmth Stiles’s body seems to radiate, hear his slow and steady intake of breath. Stiles shifts just slightly and his chin burrows further into Derek’s chest, his toes flex.
If only he could keep Stiles close to him like this always, held tight against the safety of his body where no harm could ever find him. Derek’s wolf snarls at the thought. No, no harm will ever find Stiles regardless, Derek vowed to ensure that. He will protect his mate unto death and if the need should ever arise, lay down his own life for Stiles without a single moment of hesitation. Such a time may soon come.
That time, however, is not now. Now, the pack is safe. Scott is safe. Stiles is safe, and that’s all Derek really needs.
A droplet escapes the bathroom tap and Derek allows sleep to overtake him.