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Title: Inertia
Author(s): apocryphal
Date(s): 13 October 2013
Length: 21,608 words
Genre: M/M slash, Hurt/Comfort
Fandom: Teen Wolf
External Links: Fic on AO3

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Inertia is a popular Teen Wolf fan fic by apocryphal. It's a canon-compliant emotional hurt/comfort roadtrip fic with Derek/Stiles as the pairing. It's set just post-Season 3a and deals with canon events surrounding Derek losing his alpha powers, reuniting with his sister Cora, and Stiles's sacrifice to the nemeton. The fic is heavy on the angst, and includes Stiles dealing with panic attacks and ADHD, as well as the difficult relationships between Cora & Derek and Stiles & his father. It also makes Stiles's mysterious first name, which has not been revealed in canon, a plot point.

Some readers felt that the Derek/Stiles tag was not the most appropriate relationship tag for the fic.[1] apocryphal explained: "I intended to have a lot of very messy, unclear relationships in the story, but if I had to break it down, I'd say that emotionally it's Derek/Stiles/Cora, romantically it's Derek/Stiles, and sexually it's Derek/Stiles and one-sided Stiles/Cora."[2]


The last thing Derek and Cora are expecting to find outside their motel room is a gaunt Stiles Stilinski, lacrosse bag on one shoulder and the weight of the world on the other.

Recs and Reviews

The story has been read and recced widely, and has over 2,500 kudos on AO3.

mothlights's rec on Epic Recs:

Here's a road trip with three people who are not entirely sure what the hell they're doing, but they're all hurting and at a loss about how to make things better. . . the heart of this is a great progression in the relationships between these three -- toward more warmth and understanding -- and how it helps each of them move forward. Plus this just reads differently from a lot of Teen Wolf fiction in a way that had me wanting to see where the author would take it.[3]

consultingdepressive's AO3 comment:

This is the kind of fic that keeps you up for hours. This is the kind of fic you miss curfew for. This is the kind of fic that grabs your heart and sinks its teeth in and doesn't let you breathe. This is the kind of fic that makes you think that there never needs to be another fic written, ever. Oh my god. This fic.[4]

otter's AO3 comment:

That was intensely cathartic and I'm incredibly jealous of their epic and sometimes awkward road tripping skills. Soooo awesome. I loved your depiction of Cora here, too, and the complexity of her relationship with Derek, and how people who love each other can both help and hurt each other, and also I really want to know whether it was an elk or a moose.[5]

flyawaywithme's AO3 comment:

Guh, this fic was PERFECT. Normally I avoid angst like the plague because it makes me feel very unsatisfied but this was done so well. The ratio of oww-feels and good-feels was spot on and I loved how the characters and their relationships developed <3

The ending, while sweet and hopeful, is making my heart do weird clenchy things so kudos to you and your A++++++ writing. Me and my tears are just going to go over there................[6]

loutheloup's AO3 comment:

I feel like I've been waiting the whole hiatus for this exact fic. It was a lovely read.[7]

Related Works

apocryphal wrote a couple ficlets in response to comments. One is a cracky mpreg future fic; another shows Stiles trying to work out which Hale he's dating. They also created two playlists; one a soundtrack to listen to while reading, the other a metafictional playlist called "Lawrence of My Labia."

candyvan wrote an AU kidfic inspired by apocryphal's story, where "Derek and Stiles meet the summer after his mom died, when Stiles' dad sent him to live with his aunt while he gets help for this alcohol addiction." That story is posted on AO3.


  1. ^ Comment from dreamer_schemer. "I have to be honest... I read the story because it was in the Derek/Stiles tag (I don't read any other tw fics), but I don't actually see it as a sterek fic, not even a slow burn. Especially since the few times Stiles ~appreciated Derek, he ~appreciated Cora as well (the shower scene and the end kiss, in particular, plus all the cuddling in bed and Stiles' question at the end if he were dating both of them now). I may be a hopeless romantic, but I'd have preferred Stiles to only masturbate to Derek in the shower and cuddle him in bed and not have Derek's kiss overshadowed by Cora doing the same thing a minute later -- it lessened the Derek/Stiles for me. And that's not to say it detracted from the overall story, just for the sterek tag, as I really didn't read it that way, at all. I read it as a friendship/bonding experience among the three of them."
  2. ^ Comment from apocryphal, accessed 19 July 2014.
  3. ^ mothlights. Inertia by bookgodess15 (R), posted to Epic Recs Oct. 14th, 2013. accessed 19 July 2014.
  4. ^ Comment by consulting depressive, accessed 19 July 2014.
  5. ^ Comment by otter, accessed 29 July 2014.
  6. ^ Comment by flyawaywithme, accessed 19 July 2014.
  7. ^ Comment by loutheloup, accessed 19 July 2014.