Warnings: Domestic violence, fucked up relationships
Summery: It doesn't matter - it doesn't matter because it doesn't hurt like it would if he were different. If everything were different. If he were human and fragile and breakable.
You could pass him on the street, and you wouldn't know. Nobody knows. And it's ok, he can handle it. It's not like there are any marks to show anyone, or people who would care enough to try and intercede, after all. He doesn't need anyone to intercede - it's not that bad or weird or even unexpected.
And it's ok.
Pain fades quickly, and the damage disappears within moments. He can watch the finger length bruises disappear off of his wrist before the hand that left them has curled into a fist.
The words are different - cutting and harsh, and they get under his skin, but those are just words, it's not like they really count, in the long scheme of things. Right? He already knows he's a monster - no one has to tell him.
The others look at him sometimes, considering, and he's seen Isaac's face twist up in an agonized, knowing look, but no one says anything. They skirt around the issue with bright, lying eyes and stuttering heartbeats that he can hear when he gets too close to them.
What would they say?
That it was wrong? That he doesn't deserve this?
It doesn't matter - it doesn't matter because it doesn't hurt like it would if he were different. If everything were different. If he were human and fragile and breakable.
He's seen it before, on Stiles' own skin - where otherworldly strength has gotten away from someone, or worse, was deliberately inflicted - has held Stiles while the boy shakes in his arms from pain. Has bandaged gashes and cleaned wounds and fetched ice or heat packs while Stiles lay too small and still on Derek's narrow bed.
It's after those times that it's the worst.
And Stiles doesn't ever mean it. He doesn't. He always apologizes, after, and kisses the places where bruises would be if they didn't heal so quickly. Soft lips press onto invisible scars and he speaks so softly that he can't be turned away. He cried the first few times - said he was so sorry, baby, but it was all so much to deal with, and it's true. Derek can't deny it. And then Stiles presses Derek down to the bed, mouth hungry, finding all those spots that should be black and blue and Derek closes his eyes and lets Stiles bite and suck new marks into his skin. Lets pain turn into pleasure once again.
And Stiles stays - has stayed - through witches and lizard people and crazy uncles - and has been kicked around and beaten and heartbroken. Derek guesses it might be Stiles' way of getting his own back in some way. And it's not like it doesn't end up hurting Stiles, too. Torn up knuckles, ripped fingernails, and once, a bloody nose, when he had gotten so out of control that he ended up head butting Derek in the face.
That was the worst it had gotten. Stiles had staggered backward, clutching his face and staring at Derek with panicked tears in his eyes, blood dripping slowly through grimy fingers to drip into little puddles on the floor. Stiles has been so careful since - pulling his punches and once throwing himself sideways to slam his whole body into a door to keep from slamming himself into Derek.
Derek had learned to wait - waits until Stiles looks at him with terror and horror filled eyes and flees the room, waits until the cuts on his lip are gone and the scratches on his face narrow and melt away. And then he scrounges up the battered first aid kit and follows Stiles' pacing feet and hitching breaths to the top floor.
And while Stiles stutters out apologies and self hatred, Derek wipes his own blood off of Stiles' long fingers.