Chapter 3

Stiles POV

Once Derek has finished helping Stiles dress and gotten his arm immobilized again, the pair head downstairs to the kitchen. The house is fairly quiet and it's dark outside, so they assume that most everyone has gone to bed. Derek sits Stiles at the island and starts pulling out various leftovers, holding them up for inspection and a yay or nay. Shortly after he gets two plates filled and heated Talia slips into the kitchen, taking a seat across from Stiles.

Stiles is freaking out just a bit looking at her. Derek had always told him how beautiful his mother was, how powerful, and Stiles had seen pictures, but none of it did justice to the feeling you get when Talia Hale enters a room and focuses all of her attention on you.

He looks up at her, eyes alight with caution and curiosity. She is watching her son with what he likes to call eyebrows no. 23, which means "I can't believe you right now" in Derek eyebrow language, which appears to just be Hale eyebrow language. Stiles has to have a little chuckle when he realizes that she is looking at Derek like that because he's is cutting Stiles' meat very carefully into uniform, bite-sized pieces and his whole face is screwed up in concentration. It's pretty freaking adorable.

Once the cutting is done, Stiles starts eating immediately. He figures it'll be the best way to keep Derek from trying to emfeed/em him too. He moans loudly when the first bite hits his tongue. It's been so long since he's had a home cooked meal, so long since he's had emany/em sort of real meal. Derek quickly begins cutting up the food on his own plate; the moment that Stiles finishes with his meal, Derek switches their plates and then goes to get himself some more. When the second plate appears before Stiles, he begins to settle down, take a little more time with what he's doing.

Looking up, Stiles notices Talia staring at him, so it comes as no surprise when she asks, "Who are you? How did you come to be here?"

Stiles looks around cautiously, then peers at Derek. "Is anyone else around, in hearing range?"

Derek and Talia both shake their heads and Talia says, "But if you're worried about it, we can go to my office?"

Stiles and Derek quickly finish their plates, and Derek rinses them and puts them in the dishwasher before Talia leads them into her office. Stiles is a bit uncomfortable here, especially knowing that Peter could be lurking around, so he leans against Derek as they walk, his free hand grasping Derek's belt, tucked part way into the back of his pants. Upon entering the office, Derek steers them both over to the settee, where he settles them right against each other. Once Talia's seated across from Stiles and Derek, Stiles starts speaking.

"I emam/em Stiles Stilinski. I'm 18 years old and a senior in high school. My parents were John and Claudia Stilinski. My mom died when I was 8 and my dad died last year. As to how I came to be here, I have no idea beyond magic."

"In my world, your family died in a fire when I was ten. As near as I can figure from what Derek told me, the main difference between our worlds started because my mother hid her magic and Derek's Aunt Dia didn't." He picks at the seam of his pants, looking across at her. "What else do you want to know?" he asks.

"Everything," she replies.

So he tells her everything and in telling emher/em everything, he tells emDerek/em everything about his other self. About a Derek that never gave up, that suffered so much, and just kept trying. About Peter killing Laura and Derek having to put Peter down to end his rampage. He tells them about Scott being bitten against his will and turning into a True Alpha, even though all he wanted to be was a normal human boy living a normal human life. He tells them about the Argents, Gerard and Kate and Victoria, then Allison and her change to their code and Chris who died just before Derek, protecting them.

He tells them about Derek's pack and asks her to check on them. He explains about Isaac's father and Erica's seizures and Boyd's sister. Lydia. Deucalion, Jennifer/Julia, the Alpha pack. The nogitsune buried in the roots of the nemeton, Kira and her mother. Deaton. He spends a lot of time on Deaton. The many chances he had to help but didn't, the promises he broke, the way he twisted Scott's mind to think that helping Gerard bite rape Derek was the moral choice, that not killing is the moral thing to do and how many lives not killing Deucalion cost them, including Deaton's. When the truth is, sometimes killing is the right thing to do and killing isn't murder. How Morell is Deucalion's emissary but also Deaton's sister.

Finally, as exhaustion sets in, he tells them about the hours before he appeared in the woods. Being cornered near the nemeton, only himself and Derek left of all their pack and loved ones. Running on fumes, out of supplies, Beacon Hills a war zone.

"I don't know exactly how I got here, but I have a theory. The nemeton was powered up by Paige's death, her sacrifice, thanks to Peter and Ennis."

Derek's head snaps up at these words, meeting his mother's eyes as she inhales sharply, then Stiles'. Stiles reaches out and runs the back of his hand down Derek's jaw line to his chin, reversing his hand and palming his cheek.

"Paige was never your fault, Derek. You and I both know whose idea it was, who tried to bully you into it, who went to Ennis, and who held you down and forced you to watch Ennis bite her. We also know who ran away and left you to deal with it when she rejected the bite. I don't know why your mom doesn't know, but you and I know."

Derek buried his face in Stiles' neck, apparently trying to calm himself by burrowing into Stiles' scent. Stiles meets Talia's eyes again to finish telling her his thoughts; when he does, he sees that she's looking at Derek with a mixture of regret and sorrow. He clears his throat and starts speaking again.

"Then Jennifer made more sacrifices to power up, but she was killed without all of that power being expended. There were other deaths, other sacrifices, and I think when Derek sacrificed himself for me, it closed the circle he had opened. It allowed my magic enough juice to send me to a world where there was no Stiles. A place where I could fit. That's how I think I got here." He rubs his hands across his face wearily, overwhelmed by all the emotion of the day and leans heavily against Derek, "You'll talk to my dad and we can go back to bed?"

"Yeah, go on then," Talia said. "Stiles? Thank you for telling me and I will talk to your dad."

Derek picks Stiles up in his arms gently and carries him back upstairs to his room. He settles them both in bed and once again wrapped himself around Stiles. It's the first full night's sleep Stiles has had in years and he's pretty sure Derek's the reason for it. In the morning when he wakes up, snuggled together with Derek, he feels a sense of peace, a sense of rightness.

Derek POV

Derek pulls Stiles against him, wrapping his arms around him loosely and studies his sleepy face before asking him, "You and your Derek, were you... together?" As the words leave his mouth his mind races, wondering how he will feel if 'other' Derek had been with Stiles first, if Stiles could accept him, be with him.

Stiles shakes his head and says, "No, man, we never really had a chance. We were always too busy fighting a war. I think we could have; I mean, we loved each other, we trusted each other, would kill or die for each other, but we never even shared a kiss."

Some of the tension bled out of Derek as he considers his next words and asks, "Do I remind you of him?"

Stiles snorts and says, "Yeah, there's the whole eyebrow language thing." And he waggles his eyebrows at Derek. "It's like if he were your twin brother. You look alike, you have a similar family experience and the same genetics, you may have some of the same likes and dislikes and personality traits, but you are not the same person, and I am not confusing you with him."

Stiles runs his nose up along Derek's neck to just under his ear and murmurs sleepily, "He and I weren't together, you and your Stiles never had a chance to be together, but I think, if you wanted to, that you and I could be that for each other. Being here, like this with you, sleeping in your bed, wrapped around each other, waking up together... It feels right."

The rest of the tension leaves Derek's body upon hearing these words and he throws a leg over Stiles, snuggling closer together, "It does, It feels right to me too," he mutters, dropping a kiss to Stiles' temple.

"I also get that you need to know that I'm not confusing you, so I've decided I'm going to call you by a name I never called him. I called him Der or Derek, so I'm afraid from now on I'm going to have to call you Bear. Yep the other half of Der-Bear, that's your new name," he ends, giggling madly at the eyebrows of doom Derek is giving him.

Derek can't help but laugh too. It's been a long time since he has felt even the slightest desire to laugh, but here, in these arms, he's finding that he's feeling a lot of things he hasn't felt in a long time. He thinks that maybe this is how things were supposed to be. A Derek missing his Stiles, finding happiness with a Stiles missing his Derek. Almost as if the universes themselves couldn't be content when there were worlds where they weren't together.