Stiles tries not to let his fingers tremble as he picks through the matted blood in Derek’s fur, just behind his ears. He can’t believe he gets to do this. Well, it’s not so hard to believe considering that it’s just the two of them… stuck in a ditch with no help on the way. 

But Derek could have said no. He could have shrugged away. He could have ignored Stiles’ need to clean out the blood. Blood that was present because Derek had dived in to save Stiles.

Stiles stifles a giggle as he rubs at the oft skin that has only just closed. It’s so smooth and the fur around it feel so nice. He doesn’t even realize he’s caressing the spot when a soft growl rumbles through Derek that causes Stiles to startle, freezing in place for fear that he’s gone and done it…. now, Derek would slap his hand away.

Derek doesn’t. He continues to sit there, tail flapping about as Stiles pokes at his scalp. If Stiles didn’t know better, he’d say Derek was enjoying the petting.

But he does know better. So he chooses not to read too much into it when Derek growls contently again and leans in to Stiles’ touch.