After seeing this adorable artwork, I absolutely had to make a story to go along with it. This isn’t really canon to Fairy Tales, but it was a lot of fun anyway. The art was made by the amazing @lamthetwickster and commissioned by @nightmares06. Thank you both, and Merry Christmas to all!
Approx. reading time ~5-10 minutes
After the hustle and bustle leading up to the holiday, nothing suited Jacob more than lounging on the couch.
The living room was kept tidy, with the rug vacuumed and the coffee table free of the usual craft magazines that adorned it. There was a low fire in the fireplace, behind a worn metal grate to keep any errant sparks at bay. The furniture, well worn from years of use, had been pushed aside from its usual arrangement to make room for a tall addition that glittered and glowed.
The Christmas tree was rumpled on one side, so they’d set it up with that part facing the wall. The rest was adorned with sparkling ornaments, and a string light that Jacob had been tasked with adding on. His mother was way too short to reach the top of the tree.
There was white felt wrapped around the base for fake snow, and a tidy little pile of wrapped gifts arranged around it. With the fireplace going and the soft light from the tree reflecting around the room, it made a typical Christmas setting.
The wood sprite fluttering around the room made things less typical.
It’s very likely that Derek Hale is going to kill Stiles Stilinski. Because Stilinksi is a total fucking jerk.
Derek first becomes aware of him at a little past 3 a.m. one night, when they get the call for a fire out in the abandoned sawmill. The cops are already there, because…
Because that’s their fucking job, okay? Not that it stops Stilinski being a dick about it.
“Oh,” Stilinski says, peeling himself off the hood of his patrol car. “It’s okay, you guys! Somebody finally woke the firefighters up!”
Derek wants to plant a fist in his face.
“What do you guys do every shift, anyway?” Stilinksi asks. “Eat until you’re sleepy and then wake up when you’re hungry?”
“Asshole,” Derek mutters as he jogs toward the sawmill.
He expects Erica to agree with him, but she just laughs. “Jealousy’s a curse, Stilinski!”
Stilinksi gives her the finger, and the glow of the flames from the sawmill throws the dark shadows under his eyes into sharp relief.
Derek spares a fleeting moment to hope he’s so tired he crashes his patrol car into a tree on the way back to town, then he shoves the irritating deputy out of his mind and gets to work.
“You do realize,” Parrish says a few days later while he and Stiles are eating lunch in the diner, “that we’re supposed to be on the same side?”
Stiles grumbles something indistinct into his coffee, and turns his glare on the parking lot, where the big red shiny fire engine is pulling in. Way to make an entrance, douchebags.
Stiles’s hatred of firefighters is legendary in the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department. And, Stiles maintains, it has nothing to do with the fact that the woman from that kids’ charity had looked at him like he’d grown a second head, and said. “Oh, no, Deputy Stilinski. People don’t want calendars with cops on them. We’ll ask the fire department.”
Erica Reyes was right, of course. It’s pure fucking jealousy.
And he’s just so freaking tired, and you know what those firefighters get? Twenty-four hours on, and forty-eight hours off. Jesus. Stiles can’t even imagine what that’s like. To have a schedule that’s not completely all over the fucking place, from morning shifts, to afternoon shifts, to night shifts, and back on the goddamn rollercoaster before his body clock’s had time to adjust.
Firefighters work nights as well, Stiles, the voice in his head tells him. It sounds suspiciously like his best friend Scott. Scott always gets to play the voice of reason in Stiles’s mental debates.
“Firefighters sleep nights,” Stiles mutters into his lukewarm coffee. “Do you know how many fires we get in Beacon Hills? Not fucking many.”
“Talking to yourself again, Stiles?” Jordan asks him.
Stiles looks up as the firefighters walk inside the diner. “Yep. Only way to get an intelligent conversation in this company.”
He tries to ignore the firefighters, but Jordan has to be all polite and sociable. He’s even friendly with Derek Hale, the absolute worst of all the firefighters. With his growly face and his thousand-watt glare, and his cheekbones that…
No, wait? What? Stiles was listing reasons why he’s an asshole, not a fucking walking wet dream.
He feels much less confused when Hale walks past their booth and drops a donut on Stiles’s plate with a shit-eating grin.
Stiles could just shoot him right now, right? He could.
“Fuck you,” he mutters instead.
The donut is pink. It has sprinkles.
It is mocking him.
And so is Derek fucking Hale.
Fuck him sideways.
That donut thing is total fucking cliché. You know why cops get fat? Fucking epinephrine, that’s why. Because cops have the whole hyper vigilance thing going on. Firefighters don’t. Their stress levels are totally different. They’re not so elevated all of the time that it changes their fucking body chemistry. And that is an absolute fact. There have been studies.
Studies that tell Stiles he’s going to die twenty years younger than his peers, and all because of his fucking job. Which he loves, by the way, but still. Twenty years. That seems … that seems like a lot to give away for generally shitty pay and the privilege of dealing with assholes day in, day out.
Assholes like Derek Hale, who is currently laughing at him from the other side of the diner.
“I’m gonna kill that motherfucker,” Stiles mutters.
“Are you gonna eat that?” Parrish asks, ignoring Stiles’s rage and eyeing the donut hopefully. “Because I will if you don’t.”
Generally speaking, the relationship between the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Department is a good one. Personally speaking, Derek hates Deputy Stilinkski with the fire of a thousand burning suns. Particularly when they turn up at a dumpster fire behind Burger King one night and Stilinski is already there, already bitching about their response time, and something about getting all the credit just for knowing where to point a hose.
“We don’t just fight fires,” Derek snipes. “You know what EMS stands for, right?”
“Yeah,” Stiles agrees. “Earning money sleeping.”
Derek resists the urge to punch him in his smug fucking face.
“Listen, Hale,” Stiles continues. “All I know is there are two types of people who make money in bed, and I arrest the first type.”
The fucking traitor.
Later, back at the station, Derek lies awake in his cot and seethes quietly.
“I can hear you hating on Stilinski from all the way over here,” Isaac mutters. “Can’t you just fuck him and get him out of your system?”
Erica barks out a laugh.
“Shut up,” Derek snarls.
He doesn’t want to fuck Stilinksi.
He wants to punch him in the face.
End of story.
For this twenty-third birthday, Stiles goes to The Jungle. Of course he does. Where the hell else is he going to get laid on short notice in Beacon Hills? Scott plays his wingman for a few hours, but he has to be home by midnight, and, really, he’s the straightest wingman in the world.
“Dude,” he announces, “let’s hit some dick tonight!”
Stiles resists the urge to facepalm. “It’s very nice that you’re being inclusive, Scotty, but that’s not really how we talk, okay?”
“Okay!” Scott bounces off toward the dance floor.
So much for his wingman.
Still, it’s cute. His straight BFF getting hit on by all the boys, and Scott’s so friendly and happy to meet new people that he doesn’t even realize they’re pretty much only interested in fucking. He’ll figure it out eventually. Probably when he gets his wallet out and shows his picture of Allison, her hands resting on her very pregnant belly, and discovers not everyone else is as enthusiastic to hear how in love he is with his perfect, pregnant wife.
Stiles makes a friend of the barman, and makes sure the drinks keep coming.
Scott heads off just before midnight.
Stiles dances some, and grinds up against a few different guys. He’s had enough to drink that he parted ways with his inhibitions a while back, thanks. The music is pumping, he’s surrounded by hot guys, and he’s going to get laid. Happy birthday, Stiles.
Which is right when he smells smoke.
Okay, so the smoke machine has been on all night, but this isn’t the strange, cold taste of artificial smoke. This is the real thing. Stiles is just looking around worriedly when the music shuts off, the lights come on, and the smoke alarms start to beep.
A few minutes later, standing in the cold street with the ladies and sharing a cigarette with Valencia, Stiles groans as the fire engines turn up.
“What’s the matter, baby?” Miss Andrie asks. “Who doesn’t like a firefighter, hmm?”
He really, really doesn’t.
“Oh, would you look at that hunk of burning hotness,” Valencia sighs as Boyd heads into the club. “Show me your hose, honey!”
Boyd’s mouth twitches in a grin.
“Oh, sweet baby Jesus!” Miss Andrie exclaims as Derek Hale heads for the entrance. “I want to climb that one like a tree!”
Miss Andrie is at least seven feet tall in her heels, and towers over Hale, but Stiles gets it. Objectively, Hale is hot. A part of Stiles wants to forget he knows he’s such an asshole. The other part wants to hate fuck the attitude right out of him.
That’s probably the tequila talking.
Derek looks over, and pulls up short. “Stilinski?”
“Hale,” Stiles says, folding his arms over his chest in an attempt to look somewhat intimidating. It’s pretty impossible though, surrounded by this much glitter and taffeta.
Hale’s gaze shifts from Stiles to the posse of drag queens and back again. “Having a good night?”
“Right up until you turned up,” Stiles tells him.
Hale glowers, and walks inside the club.
There’s a moment of stunned silence, and then the ladies turn on him like a pack of raptors.
“What?” Stiles exclaims, flinching away. “What?”
“Have you got eyes?” Valencia exclaims. If she had pearls she’d be clutching them. “Why would you shoot that down?”
“Oh, please! He hates me!” Stiles insists. “And he’s an asshole!”
Valencia rolls her eyes. “Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.”
Stiles grumbles at her, bums another cigarette off Miss Andrie, and calls for an Uber. It’s not until he’s halfway home, still stewing at Hale’s dickishness and the ladies’ unfair treatment of him, that he remembers he didn’t even get lucky tonight.
Happy fucking birthday.
“Oh,” Stilinski says. “Here they are at last. Not keeping you up, am I, Hale?”
Shit shit shit. That is a lot of blood.
“Hey, and you brought the rest of the crew too,” Stilinski says. His face is white. The shadows under his eyes are blue. “You guys gotta travel in a pack, right? Incapable of inde-independent thought?”
Derek puts pressure on his wound, and tries not to think about just how much blood he’s already lost. “Sure. You know us. Can’t even buy a loaf of bread without backup.”
“B-backup,” Stilinksi says.
“Looks like you could have done with some of that yourself tonight.”
Stilinksi blinks up at him, like he’s suddenly not registering the words. His pulse is tachy, and his pupils are dilated. He’s cold. He’s going into shock.
At the side of the road, the lights on his patrol car are still flashing, bathing the world in red and blue. The windshield of the car is shattered. There’s a bullet hole in the hood. One in Stilinksi too.
There’s nobody else in sight. It was a traffic stop, Derek figures, and the guy got the drop on Stilinski. He knows from the frantic radio chatter that there are roadblocks being put in place, reinforcements being called out. Every cop who isn’t here is on the hunt for whoever did this.
Stilinski curls a bloody hand around Derek’s wrist. He opens his mouth and closes it again. He looks a lot younger suddenly.
“Hold on,” Derek tells him.
Around him, Boyd and Isaac are working quickly. Isaac reaches over and presses an oxygen mask to Stilinski’s face.
“We’ll get you to the hospital real soon,” Derek says. He keeps pressure on Stilinski’s wound as Boyd and Isaac lift him onto a stretcher.
Stilinski’s gaze drifts past him.
“Stiles!” It’s the sheriff. He’s wearing his jacket thrown over his pajamas. “Kiddo?”
The deputy unlatches his fingers from Derek’s wrist and reaches for his father’s hand.
“You can ride in the back, Sheriff,” Derek says as they carry Stiles toward the ambulance. He’s guessing it’d take a braver man than him to tell the sheriff otherwise.
Boyd drives, while Isaac and Derek work on trying to keep Stilinski stable. His blood pressure is too low. He’s in danger of going into cardiac arrest. Isaac holds the oxygen mask on him, his gloves leaving bloody smears on the plastic. Derek pumps fluids into the canula he shoves in one wrist.
“You hold on, Stiles,” the sheriff says fiercely. “Don’t you leave me, kid.”
Stilinski’s eyes are wide but unfocussed. He mumbles something under the mask.
Derek can’t be sure, but he thinks Stiles is asking for his mom.
They race toward the hospital.
Stiles spends a week in hospital, three more at his dad’s place, and then four months on desk duty. When it finally comes time to get out and patrol again, he swallows down his fear and checks the tasking sheet.
“Seriously?” he asks. “Dad, seriously?”
“Problem?” his dad asks, reaching for his hat. “Let’s start with a foot patrol on Main and see where we go from there.”
Stiles sighs dramatically.
“I’m just saying,” he says later, picking up his grievance from where he left it before his dad bought him a coffee, “this is ridiculous. I’m a grown up! I have a firearm. I don’t need my daddy to hold my hand on patrol!”
“You wanna keep bitching?” his dad asks him. “Or do you want me to put you on report?”
Stiles knows when he’s beaten. It doesn’t stop him whining like a little kid though. “Dad!”
They stop in at the bakery, and Stiles’s dad picks up an order for two dozen cupcakes.
“Is it someone’s birthday?” Stiles asks. Shit. Whose birthday has he forgotten?
“Nope,” John says, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Doesn’t mean you don’t have to remember how to play nice with others though.”
Stiles narrows his eyes at his dad. “What others?”
John hands his credit card to the woman behind the counter, and doesn’t answer.
“Dad? What others?”
“Yo, Derek!” Boyd yells out. “Cops are here!”
“What?” Derek sets down the dumbbells and wipes his sweaty face on a towel before he heads outside.
There’s a patrol car pulled up out the front of the station, and Sheriff Stilinksi is handing out cupcakes to Derek’s crew. Stiles is standing by his side, looking for all the world like he’d rather be anywhere else right about now.
“It’s his first day back on full duties,” Sheriff Stilinski tells Erica. “Figured that was worth celebrating.”
Derek wishes he could smirk at the deputy’s obvious discomfort, but he can’t. Stilinski junior might be a dick, but it’s impossible to look at him and not see how he was that night: scared. So fucking scared, and so close to dying.
“I can’t decide which one I want,” Isaac says when the sheriff shoves the box toward him.
“Take two,” the sheriff says. “Hell, take three.”
Derek lets himself get drawn into the small crowd. He selects a cupcake, and turns around to find himself staring into Deputy Stilinski’s face. There’s a look there he’s not used to seeing. Stilinski looks almost vulnerable.
“So, um,” Stilinski says, clearing his throat. “I don’t remember a lot about what happened, but thanks.”
“Just doing my job,” Derek says, and hates the way it sounds.
“Right,” Stilinksi says, the word bitten off short. “Of course.”
Derek could kick himself as Stilinski steps away from the group and heads back toward the patrol car. He snaffles another cupcake, and, sighing, follows him. It’s almost gratifying to see the surprise on Stilinski’s face when he shoves the cupcake toward him.
“You really think I hate you?” he asks.
Stilinksi takes the cupcake hesitantly. “Um, maybe? You’re kind of a dick to me.”
“Oh,” Derek says. “I’m a dick to you?”
Stilinski narrows his eyes. “Um, yes.”
“And you’ve never been a dick to me?”
“Maybe,” Stilinski admits grudgingly, and groans. “Okay, yes, and I’m sorry, and it won’t happen again, and thank you for not letting me die.”
His eyes are the color of whisky. Why has Derek never noticed that before?
“Apology accepted,” he grinds out.
“Oh my god!” someone yells from nearby. It’s Erica. Of course it’s Erica. “Just fuck already!”
Derek gapes. So does Deputy Stilinski. The sheriff shakes his head ruefully.
Deputy Stilinksi points a finger at Erica. “Shut up, Reyes! That is not— That is—”
“That is not what’s happening here,” Derek growls.
“Right!” Stilinski agrees. “That is not what’s happening here.”
Derek eats his cupcake, his face burning.
Sometimes, Stiles is pretty sure the universe is just fucking with him. Like the guy he hated? Like, lay awake at night just thinking about how much he hated? Well, when a bunch of drag queens, your own father, Erica Reyes, Parrish, and even Scotty all start telling you that maybe you’ve got your head up your ass when it comes to that guy… maybe you’re supposed to listen.
Stiles is very unused to listening.
He’s very unused to all of this.
He’s unused to dating, and kissing, and feeling like a teenager again just because of the way that guy sometimes smiles at him.
He’s still a dick though. Derek. Derek is still a dick.
Well, somehow he’s become a dick who matters.
Six months later when someone lights a fire in the dumpster behind Burger King again, Stiles waits a safe distance away and grins as the fire engine pulls up.
“Guess someone woke you up from your beauty sleep, huh?” he yells across the parking lot. “About time!”
It’s a dumpster fire, seriously. Derek lets his crew handle it while he comes and leans on Stiles’s patrol car with him.
“Did you set this fire just to get us out of bed?” he asks.
Stiles jabs him in the ribs. “Fuck you, Derek. Everyone knows it’s firefighters who do that shit, just for the chance to play hero.”
“Uh huh,” Derek agrees. “Look at them. So heroic.”
Boyd and Erica are digging around in the dumpster to make sure the fire’s out.
Stiles snorts. “Hey, you heading back to the station after this?”
“You need someone to come and tuck you into bed?” Stiles waggles his eyebrows. “Maybe read you a fairytale?”
“Nah.” Derek grins. He straightens up and stretches. “But I kinda want to suck you off in a supply closet.”
Stiles looks at his watch. “My break’s in an hour.”
“I’ll try not to fall asleep in the meantime,” Derek tells him, heading back toward the truck.
“Asshole!” Stiles yells after him.
Derek laughs, and flips him the bird.
It’s not until the firefighters have gone that Stiles sees the paper bag Derek tossed in the open window of his patrol car. He inspects it carefully.
It’s full of donuts.
He takes the donuts back to the station, shares them around, then checks his watch. He’s got a hot date with a firefighter and a supply closet. He’s also got payback to consider.
Before the graft, 2013 Reduction linocut, 91 x 36cm
This is a print I did about my life with scoliosis
Over the past two and a bit years I have had two whopping operations to correct my scoliosis. I feel like a new woman albeit a pretty stiff and sore one :D Those of you who have scoliosis will know exactly how life is when you have the deformity. Not nice.
This print was a huge undertaking that spanned several months. My scoliosis worsened recently and in 2011 I had the first of two major operations to correct it. My pre-op x-ray was used in this print and it shows pretty much how my spine was prior to surgery. Due to the difficult and very painful recovery, it has been a while since I could actually cut into a piece of lino without too much stress on my body so I am really happy to have finished this one!
The tree was an interpretation on the Tree of Andry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Andry and this idea was mixed with my interest in Japanese printmaking and using Bonsai as a bit of a metaphor for finding beauty in the ugly or deformed.
The print itself is made up of three pieces - taken directly from my x-ray which was a full body size, folded into three x-ray sheets.
Frontispiece of Nicolas Andry’s Orthopédie, the 1741 text that was foundational for modern orthopedics. Today it is the insignia of many orthopedic associations, including the the BOA. Foucault included it as a plate in Discipline and Punish.
Michel Foucault writes:
The chief function of the disciplinary power is to ‘train’, rather than to select and to levy; or, no doubt, to train in order to levy and select all the more. It does not link forces together in order to reduce them; it seeks to bind them together in such a way as to multiply and use them. Instead of bending all its subjects into a single uniform mass, it separates, analyses, differentiates, carries its procedures of decomposition to the point of necessary and sufficient single units. It ‘trains’ the moving, confused, useless multitudes of bodies and forces into a multiplicity of individual elements – small, separate cells, organic autonomies, genetic identities and continuities, combinatory segments. Discipline ‘makes’ individuals; it is the specific technique of a power that regards individuals both as objects and as instruments of its exercise (Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), p 170).