Stiles wakes up to Derek pulling him into his lap; arms protectively wrapping around him while softly hushing him. His throat is sore, he’s sucking for air, but he’s not screaming anymore. His heart is racing, the terror still aching heavily in his chest, and he’s clutching the arms holding him on pure instinct.
“You’re awake,” Derek tells him, his hot breath curling over the back of Stiles’ neck. “You’re okay. You’re awake.”
It takes a moment of further reassuring before Stiles remembers how to breathe again. He goes limp in Derek’s arms and probably would’ve fallen to the floor if it hadn’t been for Derek firmly keeping him in place. Stiles whimpers, wondering if his dad will come running, but figures he would’ve done it already if not thinking Derek could handle it.
“This was a bad idea,” Derek sighs into his hair. “I’m not helping.”
“You are,” Stiles pants out, chest still heaving and fingers still digging into Derek’s arm. He hadn’t been screaming as much this time, and despite the nightmare he has a feeling it’d be twice as horrible if Derek hadn’t been there. “Please, just— Don’t leave.”
His plea is barely a whisper, but he knows Derek heard it when he nuzzles his neck and tightens his arms around him.
Stiles thought the Blind Date With a Book trend was a great way to drum up business for his small bookshop. He definitely thought it was a great idea after the hot guy kept returning and buying more blind dates with books.
Derek didn’t know how he kept getting set up on blind dates by his family, or why he kept going on them. The highlight of his night was when the date was over and he could go to the little bookshop in town and buy something to read for the rest of the night. He wanted to read, not date.
“His name is Mieczyslaw Stilinski, but we call him Stiles. I remember. When Stiles was a little kid, he couldn’t say his first name. Not sure why, pretty much rolls off the tongue, but the closest he could get was Mischief.”