(altered slightly; warning: character death; potential for rebirth as is the legend)
Stiles can only stare. Derek’s dying, bleeding out, and still obnoxiously righteous. A fucking martyr, refusing his help. Stiles is magic. Stiles has power. Stiles has a destiny to save his goddamn kingly ass.
“We can’t,” Derek gasps out. “It’s too late.”
“No.” Stiles has so much within him and there’s always a way, another spell to try. He always saves Derek.
“All your magic, Stiles. It can’t save my life.”
It’s like he’s picked the fear right out of Stiles’ heart.
Stiles shakes his head, brain frantically trying to grasp at something, but there’s a block, a wall of worry, and all Stiles can think is how red Derek’s blood is. How thin looking. Insubstantial. Can Derek really not survive without it running through him?
“I can,” Stiles half-shouts, desperate. “I’m not going to lose you.”
“Just hold me. Please.”
It’s the whisper that does it. That has Stiles falling towards Derek, and a lump lodging itself in his throat.
“There’s something I want to say.”
Stiles cuts him off, covering Derek’s mouth with his own. It tastes of blood. “You’re not going to say goodbye.”
“No, Stiles.” Derek smiles at him. How he can when he must know–he must be able to tell that Stiles can’t–
“Everything you’ve done. I know now. For me, for Beacon Hills. For the Kingdom you helped me build…”
Derek cuts off on a groan, and Stiles’ hands press down over Derek’s, already on his wound. They cover quickly with red.
“You’d have done it without me.”
“Maybe.” Derek goes to smile again, but it doesn’t reach his eyes as he groans again and folds himself over.
Derek’s breathing heavily when he looks back up at Stiles. His eyes are half closed and his focus goes in and out. Stiles can’t think to do anything but take away a little pain.
“I want to say,” a breath, “something I’ve never,” a breath “said to you before.”
Stiles doesn’t want to hear whatever it is, not if it means Derek’s going to let himself go after he says it. Which he will. Stiles know he will.
He tries to delay a little longer. Just one last kiss.
A kiss can’t last forever, and Stiles feels Derek’s last words as validation against his lips.