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Cringing in anticipation of the pain that was sure to follow, Stiles was surprised by a scream that didn’t seem to be coming out of his mouth.

Oh. Derek had come.

Stiles opened his mouth in a wordless, silent scream as another lance of pain shot through him—because apparently after hours of torture (torture, his life, god, his life was a horror story), your voice runs out.

“Tell me.”

“Dunno wha’you’re talkin’ ‘bou—” Stiles slurred out, words strung together under a haze of pain. He was cut off as another charge of electricity was shot through him, a sharp, choked off scream disproving his thought that his voice was gone.

“Tell me where your pack is,” demanded the man in front of him harshly. Stiles only shook his head vaguely, eyes blinking blearily up at him and somehow mustering up some strength to snort derisively. Cringing in anticipation of the pain that was sure to follow, he was surprised by a scream that didn’t seem to be coming out of his mouth.

Was he having an out-of-body experience? No, no, it was Derek coming to save him. Stiles could make out a dark mass of fur slamming into his captors, blood flowing, fangs flashing.

He blinked and the fight seemed to meld in and out of his eyesight—snarls barely audible over the roaring in his ears as the too-long reprieve of torture allowed his aching body to finally experience the aftermath of being electrocuted, punched, kicked, shallowly cut for hours on end.

Strong, warm hands cupped his cheeks gently and tilted his head up as another set of hands untied Stiles from his constraints (he could feel both sets of hands trembling with—anger? Despair?).

“Stiles! Stiles, wake up!

Stiles blinked heavy eyes as he tried to say he wasn’t asleep.

“Stiles—please—” someone sobbed, was that Lydia? Lydia shouldn’t ever cry, Stiles mused, she was strong.

“Oh god, what did they do to you?” another person—no, wolf—whispered in horror. God, Stiles must look terrifying, he thought hysterically, he wouldn’t be winning any beauty contests any time soon.

Stiles finally managed to blink his eyes open and found himself staring into green eyes rimmed with Alpha red and cheekbones dirtied with blood and dirt, tear tracks forming as his mate wept silently, jaw so tense Stiles automatically lifted his hand weakly to pet at Derek.

“Don’cry, m’ok,” Stiles murmured. He watched as Derek closed his eyes causing the last few tears to squeeze out.

“Stiles,” Derek breathed, clutching Stiles’ hand and nuzzling into it, sounding as if the sun had come out after a century of darkness, warm rays immersing him in its golden glow. “Stiles.”

“Dere’” Stiles whispered back, cracking a smiles through the pain, fighting the darkness threatening to take him under. He fought just until he saw Derek smile back before allowing the blackness to drag him away.

It was April.

Several months had passed since that night when Stiles had been abducted, and life was nearly back to normal--the only difference being that the Sheriff was much more withdrawn from the world after being told the truth about werewolves and the supernatural world in order to explain Stiles' injuries.

It was a drizzly day when Derek got up in the morning. He walked to the nearby florist shop, ordered a bunch of white orchids and waited as the girl silently made up the bouquet. She had long since stopped flirting with Derek and after several visits of her bubbly chattering being met with darker and darker scowls, she had stopped talking to him.

The rain had let up by the time Derek had gotten out of the flower shop, gotten into his car, and driven to his destination. The graveyard.

Walking through the rows of markers, he stopped in front of a low, black marble gravestone and knelt down, disregarding the wet grass soaking through his jeans.

"The pack's doing well, we're all safe. Your dad tried to sneak a pancake past me this morning," Derek chuckled in remembrance of the Sheriff's indignant face when Derek had stopped him, "it's a sign that he's getting better." Derek neglected to mention that the Sheriff had snapped that Derek wasn't Stiles before apologizing profusely when he saw Derek's stricken face.

"I...nothing else is really new from last week," Derek paused, trailed his hand down the face of the marble marker and whispered, "I still miss you so much." Standing up abruptly, he strode away from the gravestone with his eyes fixed firmly on the ground. No one saw the tears sliding down his face. Even if they had, no one would have dared to comment on them--Derek had reverted back to his shell, this time shrinking so far in that no one could touch him.

Stiles had woken up a few hours after they had gotten him to the hospital--and he had never woken up again. He had joked with his dad, suffered through a hug and some tearfully gruff reprimands and then fallen back to sleep. The pack hadn't had the chance to go in and see him as he had been in ICU and only family was allowed (no matter how much Scott shouted that he was family). The next morning, Stiles had been gone.

Derek had become even more surly than before falling in love with Stiles and rarely talked to anyone outside of pack now. The pack clung to each other even tighter than they had before and were vigilant in making certain each pack member was safe, they had vowed to not lose another pack member.

Derek visited Stiles' grave once a week, sometimes more, giving Stiles updates on his life. Once in a while, a pack member would go with him but not often, as everyone found it incredibly awkward and felt as if they were intruding on something deeply intimate.

Derek had dreams where he lived through that night over and over, when Stiles would say with his weak, tortured voice, "I'm ok," only to end up being so far from ok. He had failed Stiles; Derek had failed to protect the most important person in his life.

In his car once again, he let sobs wrack through his body as he mourned for the one who had made Derek love again but had been torn so cruelly away just when Derek had begun to feel that maybe he could live the rest of his life in peace.


October came, and in the middle of a battle with a rogue griffin, Derek died.

Just when it seemed as if the battle was won, the griffin managed to get a poisoned talon into Derek's back and the pack watched, horrified but numb with a feeling of understanding, as their Alpha died within seconds of the griffin's own death.

Scott, newly made Alpha, gave a howl of mourning and then another howl, this time, more hopeful. Because surely, wherever Derek had went, Stiles was there as well. They were together again and would be ok.

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