A flash of pain. It was quick, quicker than the killing stroke that took Peter Hale's life. Honestly it felt more like a blink, barely there long enough to process, but there all the same.
Not that Stiles Stilinski would ever say because let's be honest, there are some things you never say, and that he felt a flash of pain when Peter died was one of those things.
Which was not to say that Stiles thought the events were related, simply that the coincidence of his head briefly feeling like it was caving in on itself right as the alpha was killed was pretty... coincidental.
Afterwards he'd attribute it to anything else he could. Adrenaline, worry, head trauma, even maybe just withdrawal from Adderol. It was just a flash of pain, from just his temples to the back of his head. It traveled faster than Stiles could comprehend; he just felt the dull after ache as if he'd been hit. But he hadn't. He was pretty sure he hadn't.
Of course he was distracted directly afterwards by the aftermath. Jackson Whittemore looked like it had hit him that he had helped kill a guy. A monster, really, but in the shape of a guy. Allison Argent was standing with her father who looked none to pleased by the events that had come to pass. Then there was Scott McCall who looked, to be honest, like he'd just eaten something that didn't agree with him. He would be pissed later that his one chance of a cure was taken away, although only pissed enough to bitch at Stiles because surprisingly he wasn't a complete moron, but for now he stared at the burnt, lifeless body like it was the most horrifying thing he'd ever seen.
Which, yeah, probably was?
The last person that stiles focused on was the man on the hour. Derek Hale's eyes were red, proclaiming what he said to be true. "I'm the alpha now." It was sudden and a little more climatic than Stiles appreciated, and shit this meant that he and Scott weren't done dealing with the sourwolf like he'd hoped. Scott wasn't cured and Stiles knew (or could guess) enough about werewolf hierarchy to assume that that meant Derek was now Scott's alpha and obviously the other teen wasn't particularly good at taking orders.
Really, it would have been in Derek's best interest to let Scott have the cure just so he wouldn't have to deal with him. Hopefully now that he was stuck with him, his way of dealing wouldn't be to just off him.
And where did that leave Stiles in the order of things? He turned down the bite from Peter. And yeah, Peter had been right. He had lied about not wanting the bite. He had enough self esteem issues before his best friend became all awesome and wolfy and superpowery. Now he was depressingly human while Scott did everything in his power to fuck up.
On a deeper level though, Stiles knew that he could be so much better at the whole werewolf thing than his best friend. Scott wasn't a bad person; he was just a shitty werewolf. Stiles, however, would be an awesome werewolf. He'd only use his powers for good. Okay, maybe good for him, but definitely for good. He researched, he studied, he put his library card to the weirdest use in years to figure their problem out. He would totally rock the werewolf thing.
And maybe, had he been bit and not Scott, he would have been able to save Lydia Martin, who was now laid up in the hospital after being cut to ribbons by Peter.
So yeah, maybe Stiles had been lying when he said he "I don't want," but he hadn't been lying when he finished the sentence by saying he didn't want to be like Peter Hale. He didn't want to hurt people; he didn't want to play games with other people's lives. He didn't want to hurt his father. Shit. His father who was probably waiting for him at the hospital. Where him and Jackson had ditched to be of some use. At least he'd stood up to the hunters first.
The hunters who were currently walking up to Derek, their weapons not drawn but definitely in reach. Allison looked like she was holding most of her father's weight, Christ Argent's hand on his gun but not pointing it at Derek, for his credit. They didn't harm werewolves that didn't attack people. Peter attacked people. Derek killed Peter. Hopefully that made null and void out any hunting that was supposed to happen. Stiles could see Allison and Scott making some seriously disgusting eye contact. It wasn't even eyesex, it was eyecuddling. At least there was that for Scott.
They approached Derek slowly, as one approached a potentially hostile werewolf who has already killed once that evening. Mr. Argent started talking quietly, the words not making it to Stiles no matter how much he strained to hear it. Another time the werewolf senses would come in handy. Jackson was looking particularly green, so Stiles, in a fit of humanity he would deny in the morning, ushered him into the Porsche's passenger seat.
"Dude, do not throw up. I will not be responsible for my actions if you do." Blood, guts and gore? Sure. Vomit? No. Especially not after watching Derek spew black tar looking stuff at the vet's.
About which Stiles kind of wondered what Scott told the vet.
Turning around in time to catch the Argent family stalking off into the woods, Stiles wanted to call out to Scott who was staring at their backs like that alone would be enough to cause them to turn around, pat their collective leg and invite the poor stranded puppy home.
Which was totally an apt analogy for Scott and Stiles was totally proud of himself for that one.
His moment of brief triumph was cut short, hence it being a brief triumph, as Derek straightened up and let his red glowing eyes meet Stiles’ non-glowing and only vaguely terrified ones.
"Take Jackson and leave." No mention of Scott, who was staring at Derek as if he had lost his mind (oh the things Stiles could say to that), but he didn't put up a fight.
That was either interesting or terrifying. And as much as he wanted to give Derek a talk about using his powers for good and not evil, potentially with Yoda speech and everything, there was one thing that he just couldn't not say.
"What, no thank you? We totally saved the day man!" Derek's mildly terrifying gaze was intensified as he started to growl.
"Whoa, okay, chill! Deep cleansing breaths, man, we'll leave. Uh, Scott, buddy, just uh, let me know if you get home. When. When you get home. I'll be awake. So. Yeah." Derek was still growling as Stiles jumped back into the driver's side of Jackson's car, telling the other teen to buckle up before peeling down the dirt road to general safety.
It wasn't until he arrived home, trying to find a way to explain his crumpled car keys to his dad, that Stiles remembered the blinding flash of pain. And as much as he wanted to write it off as nothing, Stiles was pretty positive that it was something. He just hoped it was something natural and not something... supernatural. Although they were 0-1 on things being natural around here. Just his luck, Scott was a werewolf and Stiles probably got magical headaches.
In the end, Stiles decided to not tell his dad about his crumpled car keys and just use his second set. If he could find them. And he'd have to find a way to steal his dad's house key to get a copy made, but that shouldn't be too hard. He'd done that enough times. As for why he and Jackson had left the hospital, he briefly wondered if he could play it dumb. His dad would notice, but whether or not he'd call him on it was another thing entirely. Usually he wasn't above calling Stiles on his day to day bullshit, but this was different. Lydia was in the hospital, not awake even though the doctors were no longer sedating her, and not even the sheriff could imagine a place or time when Stiles wouldn't admit his knowledge of something that horrible happening.
Of course until she woke up, at which point hopefully she’d have a problem remembering exactly what happened the night of the dance until Scott or Stiles or Allison or Jackson could tell her not to tell what really happened. Each of them had something at stake, something to lose if she told the authorities her story.
That is, if the authorities believed her if she did tell them.
Stiles spent the next few days walking on some serious eggshells around his father, entertaining the idea that his dad might just guess that something was wrong and he’s gotten better at lying to him but when it comes to something like this? Well, Stiles wasn’t completely sure that he wouldn’t just break and tell his dad everything.
Which would be bad because of the whole ‘must be a secret, don’t tell anyone’ thing they had going on. The air of mystery would be totally ruined, and Stiles was relying on that to help him pick up chicks.
Not that he was actively looking to pick up chicks. The girl he’d been in love with for probably way too long to be healthy or even real was in the hospital. And while he entertained the notion that maybe if other people knew what a catch he was, because he was definitely a catch, he’d be able to have more of the female gender to pick from, he wasn’t sure now was a good time.
What with the werewolves and hunters and lacrosse.
When he ran into Scott at school, everyone was whispering under their breaths about the dance because it was the big topic these days and probably wouldn’t dwindle down until either Lydia came back or something even bigger happened. And how much did it suck that Stiles could definitely see the latter happening first?
He asked Scott what had happened after he’d taken Jackson away from the Hale house, since he hadn’t talked to him all weekend despite trying a few times. Scott had avoided the question, mentioning a curious lack of Jackson in school that day and then asking Stiles if he’d heard the rumor about him and Danny because of the impromptu dance, but it was short lived as Allison came into view.
At that point, Scott lost the two brain cells he’d had left and turned into a sickeningly sweet pile of useless werewolf mush that Stiles didn’t know whether to glare or roll his eyes at. He was happy for Scott, obviously, but it got old quick.
Stiles was forced to find another way to get the information he needed in a more underhanded manner. Simply by waiting for Scott to get in after practice and dragging him to a secluded corner which, yeah, wasn’t going to help the gay rumors.
“What’d he say? Come on, it’s not like it can be some werewolf only thing? Even if it was, I already know about most of it. Tell me.” Scott seemed to think about it, glancing around the room as if looking for something or someone, before finally turning his full attention to Stiles.
“He wants to keep working with me.” Stiles felt the headache that he’d had all morning since playing the run around game with Scott bloom a little further at that less than comprehensive reply.
“He asked to keep working?” Scott ran a hand over the back of his neck, shrugging a little as he did so.
“Less asking, more telling. He’s my alpha now. It feels so weird man, I can’t even explain it. It’s not so much that I have to do what he says as I feel like I want to? Does that make sense? It didn’t feel like this with Peter though, so I don’t know what it is. I don’t get it.” Stiles nodded because while it might not make a lot of sense, he kind of understood.
“Can you ask him about it?” Scott scoffed, moving to his locker once most of the team had disappeared either into the showers or out of the locker room in general. The few that were still there were far enough away that they wouldn’t overhear.
“I guess I could, but he’s not the most forthcoming with information. Him wanting to train me now doesn’t have anything to do with wanting to help me. He is saving his own ass. Because he’s my alpha, he is responsible for me and whatever I do reflects back on him.”
Stiles raised an eyebrow at that.
“Well you might want to actually look into studying for classes then because your grades are kind of shit right now.”
Scott rolled his eyes, opening his locker with a little more force than probably necessary, before taking off parts of his uniform and padding.
“Not like that, jerk. If I go off the deep end and like, attack some innocent bystander? The hunters will be forced to act then.”
Leaning against the lockers to unlace his cleats, Stiles couldn’t help but laugh a little.
“Isn’t that kind of weird then? I mean, your girlfriend’s father is slightly more scary than most. And that’s without the gun in his hands.” Scott slammed his locker door shut with definitely more force than necessary.
“Maybe so, but he’s the one that’s telling me all this stuff. Derek just told me to keep coming to the house to work on things and to keep my mouth shut and my head down. Allison’s dad is trying to help me while Derek is only helping so that he doesn’t get in trouble. And, by the way, Allison’s dad is okay with us dating now. Especially because if I even think about stepping out of line… well, let’s just say, I’ve seen their weapons collection.”
He stormed off towards the showers. Usually Stiles would have followed him, either to talk him into being less of a drama queen or to goad him into a better mood, because if he kept letting his rage get the better of him, he’d shift. And that’d be bad. But Stiles knew when to back off, even if he usually ignored it.
Scott wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardize his relationship with Allison. It was weird because Stiles had never thought there’d be a time when he and Scott weren’t able to tell each other everything, but it seemed like they had reached that point. Scott now had his girlfriend to tell everything to, his girlfriend to help him out with the werewolf things, his girlfriend’s dad to help him. Well, Stiles knew when he wasn’t needed.
He didn’t have to like it though.
Stiles has never been a fan of hospitals. Or maybe they have never been a fan of him. He’s somewhat clumsy and has visited a few times for that. He sometimes stopped by to see Scott’s mom, usually if they needed something. There was when his own mom was sick and they’d only have a little time with her each day.
Plus there was most recently when Stiles seemed to be at the hospital more often than not, visiting or snooping or trying to figure out what the hell was going on in Beacon Hills.
This time though, he was strictly visiting. Lydia looked just as lovely as always, her wounds still healing the old fashioned way, but she still wasn’t awake. He’d plied Scott’s mom for information, drawing the line at begging of course, to find out that while she was still technically in a coma, her brain activity and other vitals seemed normal. It’d been the best news Stiles had heard in a while.
He knew. Deep down he knew that he didn’t have a chance with Lydia. Deep down he was okay with that. He could be okay with friends. His love was more just an infatuation that he’d used as a shield. If what he wanted was unattainable, he wouldn’t get hurt by not attaining it.
It didn’t make it any easier to see her on the hospital bed, head tilted to the side just a little, arms sprawled at her sides, hair resting limp against the white pillow. Her skin had a little more color in it, which was good. Or at least Stiles assumed it was good.
He really needed to brush up on his basic first aid. Being friends with a werewolf was going to require it.
“I’m sorry this is the first time I’ve come to visit. I wanted to come out earlier but my dad… Well that’s not too terribly important, is it? What is important is that I’m here now. How’re you feeling?”
She didn’t answer. He hadn’t expected an answer. He just didn’t know how else to go about this.
“Listen, I did a little reading about coma patients. Between what I read and watching probably way too many made for TV movies, I’ve noticed a common factor. That you can actually hear what is going on. That you can hear what I’m saying. Is that true?”
Still no answer. Stiles shifted on the really uncomfortable hospital chair, glancing over his shoulder at the mostly shut door. He remembered pushing that door close a few days ago while on the floor, trying to be quiet and ignoring the exasperated looks Scott had been shooting him. Wasn’t his fault the hinges were old.
“I just want you to know that we’re all worried about you. You can’t see but there are flowers and cards and balloons and stuffed animals on basically every surface of this room. You really need to wake up and see them Lydia.”
Stiles wanted nothing more than for the girl to wake up and roll her eyes, tell him he was being stupid or pathetic, tell him off for breathing or existing too near to her. He wanted to know she was going to be okay.
“When you wake up, can you do me a huge favor? Tell them you don’t remember anything. You could have every nurse, doctor, and specialist wrapped around your finger in seconds and I need you to do that. I need you to either tell them you don’t remember or actually not remember at all because that’s very important.”
The chances of her telling someone what actually happened and being believed were slim, but say she did? Say she did and then later, if something happened and whoever she told remembered the words of the young girl in the hospital. Shit would hit the fan.
Stiles was doing damage control for damage that didn’t exist yet.
“You know, this is like most of our conversations, isn’t it? I talk, you pretend I don’t exist.”
Her face when he had told her to dance with him, her correction on the award name, the fact that she actually enjoyed herself for a few minutes before wanting to find Jackson… those things would stay with Stiles.
“I’ve gotten pretty good at talking to myself these days.”
It’d never felt so true. Whenever he talked to Scott since Peter Hale had bitten him, Scott had almost always ignored it. Between Allison and just simply being a hardheaded teenager, it had been a tough battle anyways. He wasn’t going to give up though. Scott might not want his help right now, but he needed it. And Stiles was not one to let a friend suffer if he could do anything about it.
“What are you doing here?” Stiles didn’t yell, but he did jump in his seat and let out a very unmanly noise as he whipped around to look at the door. He wasn’t entirely sure when it opened, but it had.
Jackson stood in the doorway, looking pale and a little sickly. Stiles shook his head, glancing at Lydia’s still form before standing up. He reached a hand out, letting it hover over her hand for a moment before stepping away and going to the door.
“I just wanted to check on her.” Jackson nodded, looking down at his hands. In one was clutched a small stuffed dog with a purple bow around its neck.
Stiles tried not to pay attention to the fact that Jackson’s hand was shaking. The older teen stepped around him, moving to take the seat Stiles had vacated. Stiles hesitated at the door before sighing loudly.
“Listen man, if you need to talk about anything--”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” Stiles head his hands up at Jackson’s quick rejoinder.
“Fine. Nothing to talk about. I’ll see you at school.”
He turned to the door once more but was stopped by a low grunt of thanks, one that probably was meant for Stiles and not for the sleeping Lydia.
After a quick stop at the pawn shop to get his dad’s house key copied, Stiles sits behind the wheel of his jeep at a red light, tapping out the beat to a song that’s not playing on the radio. His dad had said he’d be working late, trying to figure out what happened to Peter Hale. News had spread fast that it’d been Peter and not Derek that’d been killing people. Not to mention all the stuff about Kate Argent going around now.
There was an odd moment between one stanza of the song in his head and the next that Stiles thought he had a headache. Which was weird because usually one knows these things, but he wasn’t sure. There was definitely a pressure in his temples, but it wasn’t sharp enough to be an ache.
Of course once he recognized the pressure, the ache came with it. Just like the night of the fight, the pain was there and gone in the blink of an eye, only this time it left a light throb in its wake.
A persistent noise made it through the slight haze of Stiles’ mind, registering as a horn. He slammed his foot on the gas pedal, glancing up to make sure he had a green light after a brief panic where he wasn’t sure if the car behind him was honking or not. Once sure that the light was green, and probably had been for a bit to cause whatever angry driver behind him to lay on his horn like that, Stiles glanced in his rearview mirror to see if he recognized the car or driver.
Says a lot about Beacon Hills that Stiles was sure he’d be able to recognize the car or driver in a normal case, but he didn’t have to guess. The car and driver were both very familiar and both very surprising to see this far in town.
Sticking his hand out, Stiles did a quick wave to Derek. He was pretty sure that Derek would remember what his car looked like, but he wasn’t entirely certain. Sure enough, the car sped up and moved to drive beside him, going the wrong way in the wrong lane.
Stiles did a quick flailing, which should have translated to ‘are you an idiot, you’re going to wreck’ but seemed to translate to ‘run me off the road please’ because Derek swerved his own car, light enough not to actually hit the jeep but enough that Stiles had to swerve to the side of the road to keep from being side swiped.
Damn. He knew he annoyed Derek, but enough for the guy to try to kill him? That was uncalled for and just plain rude.
Derek pulled over in front of him but made no move to leave his car. Stiles waited for a minute, watching the time click over on his watch, before unbuckling and getting out of his own car. He walked over to where Derek was parked, breathing deeply a few times as he did so.
The driver side window was rolled down, enough that it wasn’t awkward to try to conversation. Stiles refrained from leaning into the window, but only just barely.
“So, that was really bad driving. I mean, I’ve only been driving for a year and I know that that was some really bad driving. Where did you get your license from?”
If you asked him, he would swear that he saw the beginning of a smile on Derek’s lips before his face went blank and he shook his head.
“The light was green and you didn’t go.” Stiles waited for Derek to say more but when he didn’t, he couldn’t help the noise he made.
“Really? You just tried to run me off the road because I didn’t speed off down the road when the light was green? I was distracted for a second.”
Derek’s face tilted to the window, eyebrows furrowing as his mouth turned down in a frown.
“You missed the green light completely Stiles. I didn’t honk until the second time it turned green.” Stiles felt something cold in his stomach, but he ignored it.
“You’re joking, right?”
Derek shook his head, leaning towards the window a little as he did so.
“You didn’t notice?” Stiles started to shake his head but thought better of it.
“Of course I did. I was listening to a song. Really good song. I have to go though. My dad wants me home. So I’m going home. Drive safely.”
He sped back to his jeep, getting in and driving off probably a little too fast. As the son of the sheriff, he knew the rules of the road, but he couldn’t think beyond what Derek had told him.
He’d missed a complete green light, a yellow, another red, and almost missed another green light? It’d felt like seconds. He would almost swear that it’d only been a few seconds at most. He’d been humming the song and then the flash of pain and then the horn.
If he’d lost time during the pain this time, had he done it after Derek killed Peter too? Had anyone noticed?
He didn’t want to worry but his mom had passed from a brain tumor and he remembered her talking about the headaches before she’d been hospitalized the final time. He didn’t want to worry his dad either but he wasn’t sure if this was something he could keep to himself.
“Has something ever happened to you that you weren’t really sure what it was but you knew it was bad?”
Scott blinked incomprehensively at Stiles for a few minutes as his brain tried to catch up to the words given to him in rapid succession. Stiles waited for there the light bulb to go off, nearly falling asleep into his math text book while he waited.
“I guess that depends on if you think being bitten by a werewolf is a bad thing I guess.” It was said rather sarcastically, but Stiles actually had to think about it.
“Not really sure which is worse, but hear me out, okay?”
He explained what had happened the night Derek had killed Peter, the flash of a headache that barely registered at first. Scott seemed surprised to hear, since as far as he knew nothing had changed during the actual fight. Not that Stiles would be surprised if he’d grown a second head and Scott hadn’t noticed.
He then followed that by explaining what happened on his way home from the hospital the day before, how Derek had said he’d been stopped at the light, how he didn’t remember it being that long. It happened so fast, which was probably cliché, but no less true.
“Wait, Derek was worried about you?”
Stiles had been clicking the top of his pen as he spoke but at that, he paused his ministrations and stared at the teen he called his best friend.
“That’s what you got out of all that? I’m being serious, potentially deathly serious, and all you heard was that Derek was worried about me?” Scott had the decency to look sheepish before responding to the accusation.
“I know that it is important and I will help in any way I can, but come on. You can’t say that Derek showing human emotion isn’t a big deal.”
Conceding to that point, Stiles shoved his text book away from him and bent forward a bit more so that the people around them wouldn’t overhear the topic of conversation.
“It was weird. Even more weird than his usual weird. There weren’t even any threats of bodily harm, which would have been surprising enough. I don’t know and I’m trying not to question it too much. You know, being a little distracted by the fact that I’m apparently having mini-blackouts or something.”
Scott pushed his own homework away from him and it was a testament to how distracted Stiles was that he only then realized that Scott had his phone out and was… was he texting?
“You’re not telling this to Allison, are you?” Scott shook his head, frowning down at his phone.
“No, Derek was texting me. He told me to check in on you.”
Which was odd because Stiles was fairly sure that Derek had his number and it would have been a lot easier to just text Stiles instead of going about it in such a roundabout manner. Except that Stiles probably would have lied even if he hadn’t been fine, which he totally was. Totally fine. Not worried about a brain tumor and the fact that Derek Hale was surprisingly nice to Stiles for a second there.
Scott glanced up, not so subtly scenting the air. Stiles was almost legitimately afraid for what he could have smelt, Scott had told him how he was learning to get a read on emotions from scents, so instead of addressing that little issue, he addressed another, more serious one.
“You need to calm down your wolfy antics in public man. I mean, it’s a little off putting if you start sniffing the air like that. And sometimes when a guy is standing too close to Allison, it looks like you want to piss on her or something.” Once again Scott looked sheepish, a look that Stiles was starting to associate with the puppy version of his werewolf best friend.
“Sorry. Derek warned me that my wolf characteristics would start showing as I started getting used to it. He wants me to come to his house tonight, says there is something we need to discuss.”
Stiles nodded, pulling his book back to him like that alone would protect him from that nagging feeling of being left behind. He’d felt it the entire time they had been helping Derek hunt down Peter in the first place, even before that when he was trying to help Scott so that he didn’t have to rely on Derek.
It was mildly astonishing how many of his decisions somehow have to deal with Derek these days.
He was glad that Scott had somewhere to go with the whole lycanthropy thing. Having Derek around was, and he’d rather be shot than admit it to anyone but himself, actually a good thing. And now Derek was Scott’s alpha and Scott had to listen to him and they were pack, and Stiles kind of felt like not only was he second line on lacrosse, but in his best friend’s life too.
Melodramatic, sure, but true none the less.
Before he could work himself into a bigger pity party, with balloons that displayed just how much pity he had for himself, Scott started to talk while gathering his things for the next bell.
“How about you come with me? You already know everything that’s going on. Whatever he tells me, I’m going to end up telling you afterwards anyways.”
Nodding once more, although this time with interest and not in dejection, Stiles started to pack up his own work to get to his next class.
“Admit it, you’re only asking me so that you’ll have a ride.” Scott snorted, but didn’t deny it, so Stiles counted that as a win.
Things may be difficult for the two of them now, with Stiles stuck on the sidelines and Scott paying more attention to what the Argents say than his own alpha, but they had each other’s backs.
What Stiles hadn’t been expecting as they pulled in front of the dilapidated Hale house was for his headache to return with a vengeance. He blinked a few times, feeling the pain stay forefront longer than before.
It wasn’t unbearable, but it was strange. It felt like every bad headache he’d ever had, throbbing in his temples and forcing him to squint his eyes even though the sun was low and hidden behind the trees surrounding the estate.
“Stiles? Stiles, you okay man?” Stiles wanted to nod because that was Scott’s voice in his ear, sounding more concerned than Stiles had heard him in a long time. However he didn’t want to nod in case it forced the headache to intensify. Every time before, it had disappeared. He needed it to disappear again, needed the pain to go away so that he could breathe. It still wasn’t too much, he could probably go about his usual routine with it there, but something made him not want to.
There was a momentary throb, as if it was about to get worse, and then it was gone. Stiles forced his eyes open more, turning to tell Scott that he was okay, but Scott wasn’t next to him. Instead he was met with the familiar eyes of Derek, whose eyebrows were furrowed in concern as he peered at Stiles.
“Whoa. Dude. Personal space. Look it up.” He didn’t mind Derek being in his face like he was, which was high on the list of things he didn’t want to think about, but he knew he needed to act like it bothered him.
Slipping from his jeep and pocketing his keys, Stiles slung his backpack over his shoulder and moved towards the steps but barely made it halfway there when he was intercepted by Scott.
“You okay man?” Stiles nodded, hoisting his bag higher on his shoulder and moving past Scott. If he treated it like it was nothing, maybe Scott could treat it like nothing. Not that it was nothing, because it was definitely something, but he didn’t want to face it just yet.
And Scott knew that he was worried about the headaches and even Scott could probably put two and two together and realize that what happened was one of the headaches, but Stiles wanted nothing more than for the conversation to not take place until they were no longer in Derek’s domain.
Which is what he’d taken to calling the land that surrounded the Hale house. Derek’s domain.
The three of them made their way into the house which looked a little like it was about to collapse on them if they moved too much. Stiles knew it wouldn’t, because it’d been through some serious shit already and hadn’t collapsed. He also knew that it was going to be worked on soon because after the cops had come out and found Kate Argent’s body, the sheriff had made a passing comment about the fact that the house looked like it should be condemned and Derek had taken that as a threat and was going about rebuilding his family home.
It was probably going to be cathartic, if it wasn’t a complete and utter disaster.
They were barely into the living room when Scott seemed to have a fit, pacing the area and sniffing around. It was down right weird, like Stiles was watching a hunting dog look for a scent. A glance to Derek showed that the alpha wasn’t concerned, so Stiles decided he probably shouldn’t be concerned either.
“What’s--” His question was cut short by the appearance of another person, which probably shouldn’t have surprised Stiles but still did.
“Jackson?” Scott seemed confused as he looked at the other teen before his eyes widened and he looked back and forth between Jackson and Derek, the former looking almost smug and the latter looking as blank as usual.
“You bit him?”
That got Stiles’ attention, snapping his head to look at Jackson. He didn’t look different, a little less pale and sickly than he had at the hospital the day before. Stiles also couldn’t remember seeing Jackson at school the past few days.
“Is that what you wanted to discuss? That you bit Jackson? Of all people, Jackson?” Irritation sparked over both Jackson and Derek’s faces, although probably for admittedly different reasons, but it was Jackson who spoke up first.
“I told you that I was going to get it, didn’t I?” Scott stood up a bit straighter, facing the (apparently) other werewolf face on.
Stiles felt a stab of pride because while he’d been able to stand up to Jackson when the other had been human and Scott was all superpowery, now he was doing it when the playing field had been evened again.
“Even after what happened the night of the dance? What you saw, what you did, that doesn’t mean anything to you? What about Lydia? Do you think that--?”
It happened so quickly that Stiles was pretty sure he hadn’t even blinked, but Jackson was holding Scott against the wall by his throat. They were both wolfed out, which made Stiles believe that Jackson was bit a few days ago and had gotten some sort of control on the change. Not as much as Scott, who had changed in his own defense while Jackson had shifted out of anger.
Stiles wanted to intervene, even stepped forward. Not that he thought there was actually anything he could do, because he was still depressingly human (even Jackson was special now, apparently werewolves weren’t too picky in their recruiting) and knew that even one false move would get his face rearranged in a more permanent way than the usual pummeling bullies threatened.
Jackson was going to be even more unbearable now.
One step forward was all that Stiles got before Derek used the same commanding voice he’d used to tell Jackson and Stiles to leave the night of the battle, the one that didn’t include Scott and therefore told him to stay where he was.
“Jackson, Scott, stop.”
The two betas separated, their eyes still flashing gold while their bodies seemed to vibrate with energy. And probably frustration. And anger. Was that the same thing as frustration in this case?
“That was… creepy. Okay. So, to summarize. Jackson is a werewolf now, most likely going to be slightly more of a douche than usual. Awesome. Not too sure you thought that one through Derek, just putting my opinion out there.”
Jackson growled at Stiles, although the force of it was less than half of Derek’s weakest growl. He probably thought he was being terrifying because he was wolfed out, but he suddenly reminded Stiles of a puppy, just like Scott did sometimes.
Which was strange because Jackson, who was definitely not Stiles’ number one fan, was a super powerful being now and could probably kill Stiles without breaking a sweat, but Stiles wasn’t worried.
“Don’t recall asking your opinion. The facts are simple. Scott, Jackson, you are pack now. You’ll have to start acting like it. I’ve given Jackson a head start on his training because you’re further ahead Scott, but now we’ll need to do group work. I really hope I don’t need to explain how important it is that you don’t draw attention to yourselves now. You don’t need to be friends, but you are pack. And you both answer to me.”
While Jackson and Scott both nodded, seeming to be in some sort of trance, Stiles felt another flash of pain in his temples. When it passed, quicker than from the car, he could sense more than see Derek staring at him. He tried to play the wince off as just an after effect of whatever the hell had happened between the group, but he was sure it fell short.
He had the worst luck.
While Jackson and Scott listened to Derek drone on about werewolf plans and werewolf rules and werewolf stuff, Stiles moved into the kitchen and leaned against the counter, trying to get his breath back. The last brush of pain had almost been quicker than the first, if that was possible, but it’d left him reeling.
He wasn’t sure how long he stayed that way, because when he turned around, Scott was watching him from the entrance to the kitchen.
“Jackson just left. Derek says we can go now.” Trying to paste on a smile, Stiles grabbed his bag from the floor and started towards him, but barely got to his side before Scott grabbed his wrist and forced him to stay still.
“It happened again, didn’t it? Once in the car and then once in the living room? Man, you were shaking and pale in the car, I thought you were scared to be back here after what happened. Derek came out and told me to get out of the car. He climbed in and then you climbed out.”
Stiles shrugged, not so subtly trying to get his wrist back from Scott’s tight grip.
“It wasn’t too bad, I just was worried about making it worse. I’ll just lay off the Adderol for a bit, see if that makes any difference. If it persists, I’ll talk to my dad. But really, no need to worry. I’m good now.”
Scott released Stiles wrist after a few moments and the two of them made their way out of the house, nodding to Derek who stood on the porch watching them as they walked to the jeep. When they got in, Stiles paused a moment before starting the engine.
“Don’t tell anyone about my headaches Scott. Please?” Scott nodded, buckling up as he did so.
“Of course man, what are friends for?”
The first two text messages were innocuous for the most part. Of course Stiles was suspicious when he saw the name, because Derek texting him was suspicious, but the texts were simple.
What are you doing? followed by Anything interesting today? that could have meant anything, but Stiles decided to take them as meaning about his research. Which he was still doing, despite Derek telling him it wasn’t needed.
It was kind of impossible for Stiles to just stop doing what he did best. Research and annoying people.
The third text message was what tipped Stiles off that something had gone very, very wrong.
How do you feel?
Now Stiles could have taken the smart ass route and said something about being a sourwolf and human emotion, but he took it for what he was 99.9% sure it meant.
I’m going to kill Scott.
Stiles tried to focus on anything but what that meant, tried desperately not to focus on the fact that Derek cared enough to text him to ask how he was doing in the first place. Tried to focus on his anger at Scott for telling when he said he wouldn’t.
Scott didn’t say anything. I overheard your conversation in my kitchen.
Okay, so Stiles could stop planning Scott’s murder because apparently he wasn’t a horrible friend.
Eavesdropping is rude. You really need a lesson in manners.
There was a cough from the front of the room and Stiles looked up, noticing that the other students were mostly asleep as whatever lame movie was playing was turned out by most everyone present. Even the substitute teacher looked half asleep in the seat at the front. Most of the students were texting or sleeping or doing homework for other classes.
He glanced down as his phone lit up, not noticing how tightly he’d been holding onto the phone while waiting for Derek to text him back.
Stiles started to write back, to ask what that was supposed to mean, when it clicked. He hadn’t been eavesdropping after all, he’d just happen to overhear it because of his wolfy superpowers and damn, Stiles was just wrong about everything today.
Maybe he was wrong about Derek actually caring. Maybe someone put him up to texting Stiles. Maybe it was a cruel, cruel joke.
If it was a joke, Stiles would bet that Jackson was behind it.
Instead of pondering on that particular point for any longer than necessary, Stiles shoved his phone into his pocket and tried to focus on the screen at the front of the room. He’d refrained from taking Adderol, hoping that that had some hand in his headaches, but he wouldn’t know for a while.
Mostly because he had taken so much before that it was basically built up in his system at this point.
Come by the house after school.
It was worded like an order, but Stiles wasn’t one of his betas and therefore didn’t have to listen to Derek’s orders. That was one of the definite plus sides of being a human in the ragtag band of hoodlums they made up.
And honestly, the noise that Stiles made was justified because Derek had just said please. Or typed it. But the sentiment was still there.
Ignoring the looks a few of his classmates shot him, Stiles typed back that he’d swing by the house on his way home, trying to make it sound like he was doing it because Derek had asked and not because he actually wanted to, which was another thing that Stiles wasn’t willing to pay too much attention to.
“Mr. Stilinski, is that a cell phone in your hand?” Stiles’ head shot up, fumbling to tuck his phone into his pocket while looking up into the face of the substitute.
He could bullshit his way out of anything, this wouldn’t be too different.
Detention wasn’t exactly a new experience for Stiles. Even in elementary school he had been a constant fixture in the detention rooms. Now was no different. The substitute had confiscated his phone, taking the battery out and putting them in the drawer of the desk before writing him up.
Honestly, he was surprised teachers even bothered anymore. As it was, he was going to have to get the slip of paper signed by his dad so that he didn’t get a second write up, but the sheriff was pretty used to it by now. He didn’t even look at the pink slips of paper when he signed anymore.
Which, in retrospect, was kind of sad.
While he worked on his homework for one of his classes, ignoring the other people in the room that were serving the detention with him for whatever reasons, he could feel the headache slowly start to creep in. However for the first time since the battle at the Hale house, the headache felt normal.
It was sad that he was actually happy for a normal headache.
There were a few minutes of slight ache before it came over him all at once. Nausea, body tremors, and a searing pain in his head to the point where he might have blacked out. The substitute had made a comment about him trying to get out of the detention until she realized that he wasn’t acting.
“Are you sick? Do I need to call an ambulance?” Stiles shook his head because even though he didn’t know what was going on, he knew that if he left the school in an ambulance, word would get to his father and… and he just couldn’t do that to him.
“No. No, I’m fine. I think I ate something. Must have disagreed with me.” She nodded, placing her hand on his forearm, drawing his attention to the fact that his fingers were scrambling for purchase on the slick surface of the desk.
“I think you’ve been here long enough. Do you need someone to take you home? I don’t feel comfortable letting you drive.”
Stiles shook his head, and then regretted the action as it drove his vision to swim before his eyes.
“No, I can… I’m going to just wait it out in my car. If it gets too bad, I’ll call someone. Thank you.”
He gathered his things, accepting his phone when she handed it back, and fled from the room, as fast as he could without passing out in the process, hoping that the woman wouldn’t change her mind about forcing him to call someone. He knew if he could just clear his head, he’d be fine, but he couldn’t do that with her hovering over his shoulder.
He needed to suck it up and tell his dad what was going on. This wasn’t healthy, this was a disaster.
A familiar car and an even more familiar figure leaned up against said car caused him to stop his trek to his jeep. The moment he met Derek’s eyes, it was like he’d never felt ill in the first place. The thought alone made his hands start to shake.
Maybe he shouldn’t tell his dad what was going on.
He continued to his car a little slower than he had been, trying not to focus on how much better he felt than he had even before his little spell. The werewolf that he was trying very hard not to attribute his miraculous recovery to started to move forward, watching Stiles with an expression that he wasn’t sure he’d ever seen on Derek’s face.
Except he had seen it on his face before, once. After Scott had gotten to the vet’s with the bullet and Derek had used it to heal himself, after he stopped writhing around on the floor (which Stiles might have memorized in graphic detail).
It was a look of someone who had been relieved of an extreme pain.
It took three long strides for Derek to get in front of Stiles, who had some point had stopped walking after his small revelation at the look on Derek’s face. The face and look in question was now only about a foot away from Stiles’ own face and although they’d been closer than this, it’d never felt quite so intimate.
That included the time Derek had pulled Stiles close over the table at the vets, threatening him so that Stiles would cut off Derek’s infected arm. Not one of his brightest moments, to be fair.
“It happened again.” It wasn’t a question; it was a simply stated fact.
“It was worse this time. Much worse.” Derek looked away, his eyebrows furrowing in a way that was becoming familiar to Stiles. He was concerned. For Stiles.
“I think… I don’t know what’s going on, but I think I might know something about it.”
It seemed to be a day for surprising Stiles, but he took it in stride.
“I’m going to assume it’s something supernatural. Am I right?”
Derek didn’t reply, simply jerked his head at the passenger door of his own car.
“Dude, I drove to school this morning?” He pointed at his jeep but Derek shook his head, stepping up behind him and all but pushing him into the car. He didn’t use his hands though, just used his definitely intimidating presence to get what he wanted.
“You’re not driving right now. Get in and shut up.”
Stiles sighed, throwing his book bag into the back seat and settling down. Derek crossed over and got into the driver’s side, casting a quick glance to Stiles before starting the car.
The silence in the car only lasted for so long before Stiles had to break it.
“So you said you might know what’s going on with me?” Derek nodded, still silent as he drove towards the Stilinski household.
“Are you going to tell me or do I need to guess?”
They weren’t too far from the house now, but Derek pulled over and parked the car, stopping the engine and staring at the steering wheel for a beat before speaking.
“I think you’re somehow connected to me.” It wasn’t what Stiles was expecting, although he wasn’t really sure what he had been expecting, so he thought he was justified in letting his mouth flop open.
“Connected? Connected how exactly?”
And array of images and ideas flashed through Stiles’ mind but he tried to draw his focus away from it because he was sitting in an enclosed space with a werewolf who was trained at smelling emotions or whatever the hell it was that he was teaching Scott to do.
“The headaches you’ve been getting? The episode earlier today? It happened to me too.”
For a moment there was silence, a quick throb in Stiles’ temple that wasn’t a precursor to the episodes as Derek called them but more of an actual tension headache, as he tried to grasp what that meant.
“What do you mean, it happened to you too?” Derek finally looked up and Stiles had to bite his tongue because his eyes were red. Which was usually how he knew he’d gone a little too far, but he wasn’t sure how he’d overstepped this time.
“The headaches? The night I became alpha, that time when I was behind you at the light, outside of my house last night, then again in the living room and then today while you were in detention. I thought it was coincidence when I heard you and Scott talking about it last night but when I got here and saw you when you got out of the building, I knew.”
It was a lot to process, even if it was just one thing. Derek and Stiles were connected and shared some sort of supernatural headaches. One thing, but one really big thing. Why, how, and what could they do to fix it? Those were the questions that Stiles wanted to ask. Instead Stiles asked something else.
“What does it mean?” Derek breathed in deeply through his mouth, as if trying not to breathe through his nose, and shut his eyes for a few moments. When he opened them again, they were their natural color and Stiles felt a little tension leave his shoulders.
“I don’t know.”
Agreeing to go to Derek’s house had honestly seemed like a good idea when they had been parked on the side of the road. Of course Stiles hadn’t realized at that point that that would mean being alone in a house with Derek. As in by himself. With no one else.
It would be the first time they’d been alone since going to the hospital that night and finding out that Peter was the alpha.
Which hadn’t ended well if memory served him right.
Plus, it would be prolonged exposure to the guy that had single-handedly sparked Stiles’ sexual identity crisis. Which wasn’t much of a crisis, actually, but more of a thing that he never needed to notice before. Being head over heels in love with Lydia apparently served more than the purpose of allowing him to never get hurt. Who knew?
Which wasn’t to say that he couldn’t see the appeal that some guys had. Jackson, apart from being the biggest douche to ever douche, was attractive. In a male model, ‘not entirely human, probably air brushed in real life’ kind of way. And Danny? He was definitely attractive despite the fact that he looked like he could walk into a bar without being carded.
He couldn’t say one way or another for Scott because that would be like discussing the sexual appeal of Stiles’ brother… if he had a brother.
But it was different with Derek. It wasn’t just that he was attractive, although that definitely didn’t hurt. It would have been so much easier if that was the only reason he had those feelings for Derek. Underneath the threats of violence (usually towards Stiles) and open hostility (also usually towards Stiles) and sourwolf exterior (towards everything), Stiles could tell that there was more there. Not just because he wanted there to be, but because no one, wolf or human, could make it their life mission to not show emotion over anything unless there was emotion there to begin with.
Which was confusing, but none the less true.
And also because Stiles really, really wanted there to be more to the alpha than just an attractive face, a rockin’ bod, and that broody mysterious bad boy vibe.
Stiles was noting if not vaguely shallow sometimes.
Alone with Derek in the Hale house after discovering that the two of them were linked through headaches probably should have been more awkward than it was, even though it was plenty awkward. Especially when Stiles sat on one side of the couch and Derek sat on the other and all Stiles could think about at first was crawling over the cushion that separated them and crawling into Derek’s lap. Which was low on subtly and high on stupidity.
To distract himself from the urge to do something awkward and embarrassing and probably unwanted, Stiles jumped right into the problem at hand.
“So we are both getting these headaches, right? Well what are the common factors?” Derek tapped his fingers on his jean clad thigh that… Stiles really needed to stop staring at.
“The first one was as I killed Peter. The second one was in the car after I left the police station. Third was when I was waiting for everyone to get here to inform you all that the pack was expanding. And the final one was when I was waiting for you to get out of detention.”
That drew Stiles’ attention.
“By the way, how did you know I had detention today? I was supposed to head here after school and the sub took my phone so I couldn’t tell you I would be late.”
Derek raised an eyebrow and glanced at where his own phone sat on the coffee table in front of them.
“Scott texted me, told me you had detention. I thought you told him to text me.” It was a statement but Stiles could hear the underlying question.
“I didn’t. But that raises my next question. Why, if you knew I had detention, were you waiting for me outside of the school? You wouldn’t have had time to get there after the last episode so you were already there when it happened.”
This time Derek actually looked as close to sheepish as possible for the broody alpha. He wouldn’t meet Stiles’ gaze, keeping his eyes instead on the burnt remains of the wall opposite them, fingers still tapping out some unheard beat on his leg.
“I was just going to meet you at the school. I had my suspicions about the episodes before the one at the school. That just proved it.”
Stiles nodded, because he couldn’t really call bullshit without giving away that he wanted it to be bullshit. That he wanted Derek to say that he just wanted to see Stiles, couldn’t wait for him to get out of detention. He didn’t want to give that secret up, not to anyone, and definitely not to Derek himself.
Derek might be unattainable like Lydia had been, but it was still very different. He didn’t like Derek because he was safe. He liked Derek because he couldn’t help it, because he had no choice in the matter.
“So what do you think, is it just random or do these episodes have a reason? And if there is a reason, what do you think it is?”
Derek was quiet for a few minutes after that, running things over in his head while still keeping up that ridiculously distracting tapping, until he finally sighed.
“One way to know for sure if it is just random. I’ll inflict pain on myself; we can see what happens from there.”
If there was a way for Stiles to resist that notion without explaining that he didn’t want to see Derek hurt, he would have done it. Instead he found himself offering a brief nod.
He didn’t have time to look away before Derek used one hand to break three fingers of his other hand. The sound was enough to make Stiles feel light headed, but nothing else.
Looking anywhere but Derek’s broken hand, he tried to settle his heartbeat. Derek and his heightened senses would pick up on it and--
It came fast, causing Stiles to double up in pain. Nausea rivaled the pain throbbing in his head for the worse of it. He felt like he had suddenly contracted the most horrible stomach bug ever created. Chemically altered to suck more than humanly possible.
A glance at Derek showed him suffering the effects, his eyes shining red, but he wasn’t bowed over like Stiles was. Whether being a werewolf dimmed the pain or whether he just wasn’t as susceptible to it, Stiles wasn’t sure. What he was sure of was that he hated to see the look of pain on Derek’s face, a pain he somehow knew wasn’t all physical.
Acting on instinct (and mild fantasy), Stiles reached out to touch Derek’s arm. It was supposed to be a comforting gesture but the moment his fingers touched the material of Derek’s jacket, the pain lowered to a dull roar. On impulse, Stiles followed the line of the jacket’s sleeve. As his fingers touched the skin of Derek’s hand, the pain completely disappeared.
They were both silent as they looked at the place where Stiles’ fingertips touched Derek’s wrist. He couldn’t help but keep looking between where their hands were to Derek’s face, where his eyes had gone back to their natural color within seconds. And as with most awkward situations, it was down to Stiles to interrupt the moment with the obvious.
Even after the pain subsided, Stiles didn't remove his fingertips from Derek's hand. The real interesting part was that Derek hadn't removed his hand, with force if necessary.
The lapse out of pain reminded Stiles just what had caused the pain in the first place, drawing his gaze towards Derek's hand. The fingers were on his left hand, the hand furthest from where Stiles was, and he watched in sick fascination as they seemingly popped back into place. The slight discoloration was left behind but the bones realigned as if they had never been broken in the first place.
"That would have come in handy when I broke my wrist. Or my ankle. Or my ribs. Or any of the other various bones I've broken over the years."
Derek shifted in his seat, finally pulling his hand out of reach but without the force Stiles had expected. Realizing that he was still bent over in order to be able to stretch and grab Derek's hand in the first place, Stiles righted himself and tried to tone down his embarrassment to a manageable amount.
"Do you break bones often?" Stiles started to shake his head because he hadn't broken a bone in probably a year, but he forced himself to shrug, dusting off his pants in a show of nonchalance he definitely didn't feel.
“What can I say, I’m always in movement and sometimes those movements end painfully. Plus I play lacrosse and that’s a contact sport. Bound to happen, you know what I mean?”
Narrowing his eyes, Derek leaned forward into Stiles’ space a little, however still respecting some sort of boundary that Stiles hadn’t noticed before. He rarely ever touched Stiles, didn’t throw him into any unsuspecting walls or grip his arm tight enough to cause a bruise. All he did now was glare and apparently worry. That was a new one at least.
“You aren’t first line. You’re not involved in the contact part of the sport.”
That stung, just a little, even though it was true. He tried, sometimes a little too hard. Being overshadowed by his best friend, who was already better liked before the werewolf thing even though they were both still in the mostly overlooked groups at school. Not that Stiles wanted to be the center of attention, but maybe he wanted to get some sort of recognition.
It was a familiar tune, so Stiles stamped down on the involuntary pain that came with reminded of his lack of a social status and instead focused on what Derek had said.
“Yes, well first line has to practice don’t they?”
Derek’s eyes flashed red for a brief second but before Stiles could even work up a good panic attack that he’d done or said something wrong, that his throat was going to get ripped out or he was going to be thrown at something or punched or, worse, thrown from the pack, they returned to their natural color again.
“Your own teammates have hurt you? Did Jackson ever…”
He left the rest of the question go unasked, but Stiles knew what he was getting at. Did Jackson ever hurt Stiles during practice? Well, that was a loaded question. Of course Jackson had hurt him during lacrosse, but only about half of them were on purpose. And he hadn’t been directly involved in Stiles breaking any bones except that once and Stiles could be honest in saying that it was his fault.
Jackson was heavier than he looked when he had fallen on Stiles who was trying to keep his stick out of the fray to keep from making the impact worse. It just happened that Jackson had fallen on Stiles wrist at the exact right angle to break it.
After Jackson berated him for staying out of people’s ways, getting a few jabs in about not being on the field if you couldn’t even play the damn game, Stiles would swear that the older teen had looked a little apologetic.
Not that he’d testify to that in the court of Derek Hale, who was interpreting Stiles’ silence as a yes. Which it was a yes, but not in the way Derek was thinking and--
“Whoa, whoa, no shifting. Shifting isn’t needed, please stop, oh my god don’t kill me.” The red flashing eyes dulled and the hair that had been sprouting seemed to recede and the nails shrunk back into the skin. The control that the alpha had was pretty daunting. If Scott (or now Jackson) could have half of that, Stiles wouldn’t have to worry about lacrosse practice anymore. As it was, he probably should start working on a plan for when things go absolutely pear shaped during practice. Maybe he could provide a distraction for the idiots. Set himself on fire or start shouting in tongues.
He’d have to look into it once Derek stopped staring at him, something akin to confusion on his face.
“While Jackson might have been involved with some of my injures -- stop growling please? -- it wasn’t his fault. It’s a sport Derek. Surely you can understand that accidents happen, right?”
The confusion was replaced by irritation, but he nodded all the same. Letting out a breath Stiles hadn’t been aware he’d been holding he looked down at Derek’s hand once more. Even the discoloration was gone, which was pretty neat.
“I wonder if it works both ways. Obviously the pain like, manifests if you’re hurt, but what about me?”
Derek shook his head, but not at the inquiry.
“We’re not going to test the theory.”
Stiles laughed, thinking Derek was making a joke. Then he remembered that it was Derek and his sense of humor wasn’t exactly funny, therefore he must have been serious.
“You’re serious? What, you can do it but I can’t?”
Shooting up from the couch, Derek started to pace around the living room, avoiding Stiles’ eyes.
“I can heal myself, you can’t. No. You’re just…”
He once again trailed off and Stiles had had enough, could feel the irritation and hurt he’d been bottling in since Scott had been bitten rise to the surface.
“I’m just what, some human? You’re right, I am just human. You don’t have to remind me every minute of the day, I know. But I’m not just some human, because most humans wouldn’t spend every day working with a bunch of egotistical, self absorbed, arrogant werewolves to make sure they don’t get caught or put in danger.”
Jumping up from the couch, ignoring the look that Derek was sending him, Stiles grabbed his book bag and jacket, throwing the jacket into the bag and throwing the bag onto his shoulder.
“And I wasn’t talking about something drastic, you… you… you asshole!”
Instead of dignifying the entire explosion with an explanation, or waiting for whatever response Derek could give it, Stiles stormed off in the direction of the front door.
It wasn’t until he’d made his way across the porch and down the steps that he was reminded that he hadn’t driven out to the Hale house but had caught a ride from Derek.
In for a penny, in for a pound. Slinging his book bag higher up his shoulder, Stiles headed off towards the main road, fishing in his pocket for his phone. Once he found it, he scrolled through his contacts, dialing a few people he thought could come get him and not ask questions. The list was short, only Scott and Allison, and neither of them answered.
Probably because they were together.
As he continued to look for a person who’d pick him up, he felt a familiar ache in his temples. He hunched down because he wasn’t sure he’d be able to stay standing, but the pain wasn’t as fierce as it had been before. His stomach also clenched and he bent over, heaving a little but not actually being sick. The pain lowered enough for him to wonder what had happened, if Derek was hurt, before shaking his head. He needed to get home; he needed to think about this somewhere else.
So after righting himself, he scrolled back up to a number he rarely ever dialed, pressing the call button before he could talk himself out of it. It rang a couple of times before a familiar voice answered.
“Hello?” Stiles glanced behind him, somehow thinking that Derek might have been right behind him after the last episode.
“Danny, I need a huge favor.”
Surprisingly it hadn’t taken much to get Danny to agree to drive out towards the old Hale estate and pick him up. It wasn’t until he was secure in the passenger seat of Danny’s car, rubbing the palms of his hands against his jeans to try to get some heat back into his skin, that he started to worry about just how easy it had been to get Danny out there.
“Thanks again man. If you just drop me off at the school, my car is there.”
Danny nodded, fiddling with the heat for a moment before leaning back. He cast a few glances towards Stiles who was doing his best to ignore the other teen as politely as possible.
“I have a question.” Of course he did.
“Shoot.” Which was poor word choice but he didn’t think on it. This was Danny, not a hunter.
“Jackson’s been acting really weird. With everything before the dance and now things seem almost worse. You wouldn’t happen to know why, would you?”
Stiles tried not to show any emotion at the question, also trying not to focus on how much he wanted to punch Jackson again. Instead he pretended to think about it before shrugging.
“I mean, he’s always been a little unhinged. And the dance might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back or whatever. Plus, don’t you think you should talk to him about it? Jackson and I aren’t exactly tight. I thought he was your best friend or whatever.”
The look that Danny shot Stiles was enough to make Stiles wish he’d called his dad and dealt with the third degree.
“He is my best friend, but that doesn’t mean he tells me everything.”
Stiles thought about Scott, the things they kept from each other and how he felt second string to his own best friend. He wasn’t sure he was able to disguise the wince, but Danny didn’t question it.
The rest of the drive, thankfully, was quiet. When they pulled up to the school, Stiles didn’t make any move to get out of the car right away.
The thing was, he liked Danny. Despite being best friends with Jackson and sometimes a little holier than thou, Danny was still pretty awesome. And whether he knew it or not, he was now a human best friend to a werewolf. He kind of wondered if he needed to start a support group.
“I’m sure he’ll be okay. Jackson.” Danny offered a nod, although he had probably suspected that the conversation had been over. Instead of saying anything else, Stiles simply nodded and moved to leave the car.
He was stopped by Danny’s hand on his arm.
“I only asked because I’ve seen Jackson around with Hale lately and that’s who was in your room, not your cousin. And because I just had to pick you up on the outskirts of the Hale estate.”
Stiles kept still, hoping that if he didn’t move or breathe or blink, Danny would forget he was there. Except it was Danny’s car. He really hadn’t thought any of this through, had he?
“Yeah, I uh, I know Derek. We’re not tight or anything, just acquaintances. Didn’t know that he and Jackson were… I think you should maybe talk to Jackson.”
And Stiles probably should give Jackson a heads up that Danny was suspicious. That’d look bad otherwise.
“I guess I find it strange, that you’re not tight or anything with someone that was in your bedroom.”
Stiles looked at Danny for a second before his brain caught up with everything he’d just said.
“Oh. That. I mean, you were in my room. You and I aren’t exactly tight, are we?”
Which sounded kind of harsh but was true. They weren’t tight. They were barely even really friends.
“Yes, but I wasn’t putting your clothes on.”
Which… was also true. At least Danny didn’t know what was really going on. That Stiles might or might not have been exploiting Danny’s sexuality and Derek’s… attractiveness… to get what they needed.
He definitely might have deserved that steering wheel to the face. He just wasn’t ever going to admit that to Derek.
“I’ll see you at school. Thanks again.”
Stiles quickly slipped out of the car, hoping that if he didn’t linger, Danny wouldn’t call him back. He made it to his car, throwing a light wave to Danny as he left the parking lot, before hoisting himself into his jeep. He started the engine and quickly turned on the heat, shivering. It wasn’t terribly cold, but it was cold enough.
While waiting for the jeep to warm up, Stiles fished out his phone and looked down at the two missed calls and one text. One was from his dad, probably wondering why he was so late. He didn’t leave a voicemail but Stiles noted the time on the call and knew he only had a short amount of time before his dad called again with a threat of grounding if he didn’t get his ass home. The other was from Derek’s number, although he hadn’t left a voicemail either.
The text was from Derek too. Stiles opened it and stared at the words, trying to fight the slight hysterical laughter that was threatening to bubble out.
This isn’t finished Stilinski.
Of course not.