It really was the strangest thing, to watch this surly young alpha glare with such force and see it have next to no effect. Or at least not the effect it was intended to have.
Chris crossed his arms, trying to keep his hands warm from the chilly night air, eyes not leaving the pair of men, or really just boys, further down the street.
While he didn't know Derek Hale, he had observed him for a long time. He remembered the young boy, many years ago now, who had loved his family, had been able to smile with such ease. The young man he now watched was very different, not surprisingly so, given everything.
His family was gone, so was the smile.
Chris was here in the hopes that either Derek and his pack, or the Stilinski kid, could lead him to the Kanima, one way or another. Yet found himself intrigued by what he was observing between Derek and Stiles more than anything else.
Derek's whole body spoke of threats and anger, yet Stiles stubbornly ignored it all. Actually it almost seemed the more Derek threatened, the more stubbornly Stiles pushed back, challenging everything instead of falling into line, or perhaps more sanely, running.
Chris had seen how they interacted when others were with them, Scott or the pack, but they were alone now. He was too far away to hear what they were saying, but their body language spoke volumes, more than their words ever would probably.
Derek was standing, body rigid, while Stiles waved his hands around as they argued about something. Stiles' hands stilled as he finished making his point and stared at the older man expectantly, before reaching a hand out to Derek's shoulder. Derek flinched, but didn't pull away. Chris almost expected him to growl, to shove the boy away, or react in some other violent manner, but he didn't.
Instead, Derek relaxed, ever so slightly, and nodded. Stiles grinned victoriously, but it wasn't smug. It seemed to take him a moment to notice he still had his hand on Derek's shoulder, and for him to pull it away.
Derek sighed, clenching his jaw a little, obviously still unhappy about whatever they had decided, before he walked away, Stiles jumping, ever the hyperactive teenager, as he fell into step beside him.
Chris followed them, keeping at a safe distance, drawn not only by the hope of finding the information he needed, but fascination at the possibilities of this human boy bringing out a side of the werewolf Chris had been taught, had vehemently drummed into him, not to see.
He drew close enough to hear a few words.
"Come on, you know you'd only end up dead if you go after this thing on your own."
"It's my responsibility."
"I'm the big bad wolf, everything's my fault," Stiles replied, in a frankly horrible impersonation that earned him another glare. Stiles threw his hands up. "Hey, don't kill the annoying sidekick."
"You're not my sidekick."
"Of course not, you'd have to actually like me for that."
Derek gave the younger boy a strange look, but Stiles missed it as he kept rambling on.
"Not that you need a sidekick, you're more the brooding loner who lurks in dark corners looking menacing, glaring the bad guys into submission."
Chris didn't hear anymore, dropping back again as he saw Stiles wave at Scott and the rest of the pack who were waiting for them further down the street. He narrowed his eyes as he noticed how Derek stayed close to Stiles, even amongst the group.
It really was the strangest thing, which neither of them nor the rest of the group appeared to notice. How this annoyingly hyperactive and unassumingly intelligent kid affected Derek Hale. How he brought out the smallest hint of a ghost of that once smiling young boy, before life had beat him down.