Derek was dead and Stiles had no idea why he was even contemplating calling him. Scott had said he had seen Derek’s body, had seen him fall and then not move but Stiles tried not to think about it too hard.
He was busy enough trying to forget that Boyd had tried to drown himself and that Scott had been in the process of setting himself on fire.
Stiles hovered over the call button, indecision taking hold of him again. He realized that for all that they had been through he had never actually called Derek. They texted occasionally, when something big was going down, but he had never called and now didn’t know what to expect. Stiles couldn’t decide what would be worse: being directed to a voicemail and possibly having to hear Derek’s voice or the call just going unanswered.
Both possible outcomes would just drive the point home that Derek was dead.
But Stiles needed to talk to someone and if he was just talking to the void, even better. He pressed call.
And nearly dropped the phone when it connected after the second ring.
“Are you okay?” Derek’s voice asked and Stiles felt briefly like he was going to faint. Good thing he was already sitting down.
“You’re alive,” he breathed and there was a surprised silence on the other side.
“Yes, I am,” Derek finally said. “It wasn’t that bad,” he defensively said and Stiles chuckled, just so he didn’t have to cry.
“Scott said you fell. That you weren’t moving.”
“I’m fine, Stiles. I’m fine.”
“You sound tired,” Stiles said with a frown and he could hear Derek sigh.
“Healing is exhausting,” he eventually said and Stiles promised himself to get a full list on Derek’s injuries later.
“But you’re healing,” he pressed.
“Yes, I am,” Derek answered softly. “I’m as good as new already.”
“You’re lying,” Stiles accused him and Derek huffed.
“Now who isn’t supposed to call attention to that?” he asked, and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“I’m allowed to if your health is on the line,” he decided.
“My health isn’t on the line. Not anymore.”
“But it was,” Stiles stated and he cursed this whole damn trip. He should have been there for Derek.
“It might have been,” Derek admitted and Stiles felt cold at the thought that he could have lost Derek.
There was a short silence before Derek asked “Are you okay?”
“I don’t… I don’t know,” Stiles lowly admitted and he could tell that Derek was immediately alert.
“What happened? Are you hurt? Where are you?”
It sounded like he was ready to come and get Stiles is he so much as hinted at the fact that he needed it so Stiles was quick to stop him.
“I’m not hurt. We’re on that damn road trip, you know the one Isaac wouldn’t shut up about but things…. didn’t go too well,” Stiles said.
“Were you attacked? One of the twins is with you, right?”
“Not that I… I mean, I guess,” Stiles told him, thinking back to what Lydia had told him about what she saw.
“Not in a way were claws would have helped, but it was pretty horrible anyway.”
“What happened?” Derek softly asked again and Stiles sighed.
“We were at this stupid motel and things just went to shit. Ethan tried to kill himself with a handsaw. Isaac was hiding under the bed, Boyd tried to drown himself. Scott,” Stiles started but his voice almost broke on the name. “Scott drenched himself with gasoline and almost set himself on fire,” he whispered.
“Is he okay?” Derek immediately asked and Stiles really wished he could hug him right now.
“He’s fine, everyone’s fine. There was some kind of wolfsbane in Coach’s whistle. It did all kinds of whacky stuff to them, but it’s sorted out, everyone’s fine.”
“I don’t think the word ‘fine’ holds any meaning anymore,” Derek lightly said and Stiles couldn’t help but laugh at that.
“Which is exactly the reason you used it just a few minutes ago, right?”
“I’m okay, I promise. I’m not bleeding and I am healing.”
“Alright. I believe you,” Stiles told him.
“The thing with Scott….,” Derek trailed off. “How are you dealing with it?”
“I’m …,” he was about to say fine, but stopped at the last second. “I don’t know. Scott was standing in that puddle of gasoline, ready to drop the flare and I didn’t know what to do, he’s my brother, you know, I couldn’t just…” Stiles took a steadying breath. “I might have done the dumb thing and stepped in the puddle with him, telling him that he wouldn’t have to do this alone,” Stiles admitted and there was a sharp intake of breath on the other line.
“Stiles,” Derek croaked out and there was a faint note of panic to his voice.
“It’s alright, I took the flare, Lydia knocked us out of the gasoline, no one got hurt, I promise,” he quickly reassured Derek.
“No one got physically hurt,” Derek said and Stiles sighed.
“Okay, yeah, I might be scarred for life, but we’re all good. We’re on our way back, all safe and sound.”
“How long till you get back?” Derek asked.
“Two hours maybe?” Stiles told him and he could imagine Derek nodding on the other end.
“Come by when you’re here,” he told Stiles, who frowned.
“I need to…” Derek said and then stopped but Stiles knew how that sentence ended.
I need to make sure that you’re okay. Stiles could relate. He would feel better seeing Derek himself so it wasn’t really difficult to make the decision.
“Okay. I’ll come by right after,” he promised and then got distracted when Isaac yelled for him to get his ass going, they were leaving the rest stop.
“I’ll see you,” he quickly told Derek.
“See you then, Stiles,” came the reply right before he hung up on him. Stiles felt strangely jittery after the call, but also lighter than he had the past twenty four hours.
When Stiles dropped by the loft, Derek didn’t hesitate to pull him into a bone crushing hug. It was only then that Stiles truly felt settled.