When Derek first catches the strange scent of home and family he's six years old, clunching at his mother's long skirt while they walk through the small local grocery store. The scent is mixed enticingly with the light scent of apples and a crisp autumn day, Derek doesn't realize it at the time but it will soon become his favorite scent.
Without a thought he releases his mother's skirt and waddles away, following the smell with his super power like his family has been teaching him to. His mother was too busy trying to keep a ten year old Laura and four year old Cora from slipping too many things into the cart without her express permission to realize that her saniest child was in the process of wandering away. So he walking through the store unhindered until he found the source of the delightful smell on the toy aisle.
The little boy looked like he could be about the same age as Derek, he had brown hair, pretty eyes, and a spotted face. He was sitting in the middle of the aisle with a small bouncy ball in his hand from one of the lower shelves. The boy wasn't really doing anything with it, just rolling it across the floor until it hit the shelf and sort of bounced back.
The boy with the strange smell didn't even notice him, and Derek- ever the quiet child- wasn't about to make the first move, content to just stand there and watch the boy.
After another thirty seconds the boy was shoving the ball back onto the shelf and hunting once more for some form of entertainment. That's when he saw Derek and his pretty auburn eyes wided in absolute glee.
"Will you play with me?" He asked excitedly. "My name is Slaw- Slaw..." The boy struggled and frowned in concentration for a moment. "My daddy calls me Stiles."
"I'm Derek." He replied shyly. "I can play."
"Cool." Stiles practically squealed in delight. He rushed forward and grabbed Derek's wrist and dragged him infront of the shelves. "What do you want to play with?"
Derek looked over the shelves with far too much seriousness for a six ear old before he spotted the plastic bin filled with an assortment of plastic animals, and right on top was a wolf. "Let's play with those." He pluck the wolf up and dropped to the floor, settling quickly.
"You like wolves too!?" Stiles' eyes were impossibly wide. He moved quickly to snatch up one of the other wolves in the bin. "You are going to be my new best friend." He said with finality and sat down next to Derek.
Derek's wolf preened at the idea and something inside him settled, at six he didn't really know what it was, all he knew was that he already cared for this strange boy. Something inside him demanded he get close to this boy, physically and emotionally; so basically he let Stiles make his own rules to their little games and put up with the constant changing of toys.
It felt like they'd gone through half to toy aisle before both their mom's found them. Talia, calmly walking towards them, authority wafting off of her in waves, one perfectly shaped dark eyebrow raised in question as she took in the scene. Claudia was decisively less blasé about the whole thing.
"I swear one of these days your going to give me a heart attack." She said quietly, scooping up the little boy and giving him a tight squeeze before setting him down again. "My little man, you need to dial down that wanderlust or you might just drive your daddy crazy."
Stiles leaned in real close to Derek and whispered, "My daddy is a policeman." As if were some big secret. "He gets the bad guys."
Derek wasn't entirely sure how he was supposed to respond to his new friend so he just smiled real big and watched their moms talk. He wasn't entirely sure what they were saying; there were too many strange words, plus, Stiles kept shoving toys into his empty hands and demanding - in the nicest way possible - that Derek play with him. So he appeased his new friend, loosing track of the mother's conversation.
Sometime later, Claudia and Talia said their goodbyes with the promise of seeing each other soon. And as their respective mothers drag them away, Derek can't help but miss the doe eyed boy already.