After the dust settles Stiles sees Jackson and Ethan standing close together, fingers intertwined. He sees Scott and Malia hugging, Theo and Liam with their heads close together. His dad, Melissa, and Argent huddled together, arms around each other. Everyone is with the people they love, everyone but him.
He doesn’t look for Lydia.
“Derek?” Stiles says quietly. He saw the look of horror on Derek’s face when he had to face the Jennifer shaped thing, he knows that Derek has trauma that runs deep.
Derek looks up at him from his seat on the floor, “Why aren’t you in with everyone celebrating? We won.”
“Why aren’t you,” Stiles counters, sinking to the floor next to Derek and takes a deep breath before he flips his hand over and sets it palm up on Derek’s knee.
For a moment Derek does nothing, but then he takes Stiles hand in his and links their fingers together.
“I didn’t really feel like celebrating, Beacon Hills isn’t somewhere that makes me feel like I won anything,” Derek admits quietly, so quietly that if Stiles hadn’t been inches from him he’d had missed it.
“I get that,” Stiles nods, “If it weren’t for, dad I’d never come back.”
“What about Scott, Lydia?” Derek asks. They’re even closer now, Derek’s breath is warm on Stiles’ face. Stiles shrugs and Derek says, “If it wasn’t for you I’d never come back.”
And then there isn’t any space between them. The kiss is soft and chaste. There’s time later for more kisses, for heat and passion, this kiss is gentle and healing.
“I’m glad you finally figured it out,” Lydia says and they break apart, hands still linked, “It took you long enough.”
“I-” Stiles starts, but Lydia cuts him off.
“I’m glad you’re happy Stiles, you’re my best friend, that’s all I ever wanted,” Lydia says and smiled at them, “I think I’m going to go find my mom. We can finally start to plan our cross country road trip to get all my stuff to MIT.”
“Hey Lydia,” Stiles calls out, “Thank you.”
“See you around Stiles,” She says, her heels clacking as she walks away.
“I’m starving,” Stiles says finally, breaking the calm quiet around them.
“I could eat,” Derek stands up, helping Stiles to his feet, never breaking contact.
They hold hands all the way to the Jeep, then all the way to the 24 hour diner in Beacon Valley. They only stop so that they can eat because “As much as I like holding your hand I like pancakes more.”
“So romantic,” Derek laughs, eating his burger, never taking his eyes off Stiles.