Derek had followed Stiles scent deep into the woods, under the impression that he and Scott were up to something. He hadn’t expected to find Stiles sprawled on the ground with a half-empty bottle of whiskey.
“What the hell are you thinking? Are you seriously drunk, alone, in the woods?! With everything that’s going on?! What, do you have a death wish?!”
“Why d’you care?” Stiles slurred.
Derek scowled and tucked his hands into his jacket pocket. “I don’t.”
“Then go away.” Stiles took another long gulp from his bottle of whiskey. Derek clenched his fist and let out a deep breath.
“How’s your dad going to feel if something happens to you?” He muttered as he looked away.
“Is that…” he belched and Derek wrinkled his nose automatically. “a threat?” he finished on a breath.
“What? No.” Derek said quickly, looking back at Stiles.
“Then fuck you. Yer don’t geta talk to me bout my dad.” He took another long draught, squeezing his eyes shut. “Just leave me alone,” he gasped after swallowing a mouthful of whiskey.
“I can’t,” Derek gritted out through his teeth. And he wasn’t really sure why.
“Jus’… just beezcause I saved you doesn’t mean you hafta save… me.” Derek’s scowl deepened at his words. He didn’t want to admit how close to the truth they were. Stiles’ eyes drifted shut briefly, and Derek thought he had passed out, until they snapped open again, and he took another drink from his bottle. As soon as the bottle left his lips, Derek stepped forward and snatched it from his hand. “Hey!” Stiles protested loudly. “Give it!” Derek ignored him, cocking his arm back and tossing the bottle, where it crashed somewhere in the darkness. “The fuck?!” Stiles scrambled up into a sitting position.
Derek pointed a stern finger at Stiles. “I’m taking you home.”
“No! I d’nwanna go home!”
“I dunno… don wanna be ‘lone.” Stiles muttered under his breath, shrugging clumsily. That took Derek by surprise. Stiles wasn’t usually so forthcoming with personal stuff like that. He didn’t think he liked drunk Stiles…
“Fine.” Derek said. “Then I’m taking you to Scott’s.”
“He’s not home,” Stiles sung out. “He’s creepin’ on Ally-sun…”
“He’s pertecting her…”
“Well, I’ll just call him.” Derek took his phone from his pocket.
Stiles giggled. “He won’t answer.” Derek ignored him and dialed anyway. It rang twice and went to voicemail. Derek tried two more times with the same result. Stiles giggled again, and the sound was almost hysterical. “Told you so!” Stiles cheered. Derek shook his head, more in disbelief than denial.
Well, what the hell was he supposed to do with the kid? He couldn’t just leave him out here alone in the woods drunk, not with werewolves lurking about, and him being unable to protect himself. A small part of Derek reminded him that this wasn’t his problem, but a bigger part of him reminded him that Stiles was important. Important in a lot of ways, and to a lot of people. Which meant he had to be protected.
Derek reached for Stiles, to grab him by the arm to haul him up, intent on taking him home no matter what he said, but he jumped back with a snarl at the sting of pain when their skin touched. Stiles began his hysterical laughter again.
“What the hell?!” Derek was kind of angry now, and more than a little confused. Stiles fumbled to reach into his shirt and gracelessly yank a small amulet out from under his layers.
“Lil’ gift from our rezdent veternairian,” he said, and giggled again. “Pertects me ferm monsters.”
Derek flinched at that last word. Stiles was too drunk to notice. He would have, normally.
“I’ll just leave you to your drunken stupor, then.” He bit out before turning and slinking back into the darkness.
“You’re not ev’n gunna ask me… why?” Stiles called, a little too loudly.
“Why would I care, right?” Derek asked sarcastically without turning around. He heard Stiles snort and flop back to the ground, but he didn’t look back.