Things don't transition back to how they were -- not immediately, anyhow. Stiles isn't sure that they ever will, either, but he's willing to let that slide for now, because things aren't all that bad.
The weird weather patterns haven't subsided just yet, and Stiles is starting to worry that it'll only get worse as the months go on. Will they have another month of nothing but rain, or will it be thunderstorm after thunderstorm for the next few weekends? Sure, they're sometimes fun for movie nights, or when the power goes out, but he doesn't need another mass flooding incident. The last one nearly had him tearing up his house.
Still, it makes for a few nights of lost power and a few nights where he's left along in his living room like usual, channel surfing and eventually settling on America's Next Top Model because he really can't give two craps. He usually ends up falling asleep on the sofa on nights like these, and he'll wake up in the morning to a thin blanket draped over him and the sound of his dad cooking bacon.
Those are the nights that Derek would have come to visit, but, again, he's seemed to drop off the face of the planet. Stiles is almost certain that he worked something out with Derek, made some sort of breakthrough, but Derek is almost as quiet as he was when he asked Stiles to come with him to Seattle. What's Stiles supposed to think about this, anyway?
He still doesn't know how he should react to any of this. He still wishes somebody had written a book on this, but even then, he feels like he and Derek would have long since torn up the book and everything useful it had to say. That's just how they operate, apparently.
But he convinces himself that he shouldn't worry, because this time around, Derek shouldn't (well, he hopes not) be going through some unexplainable emotional crisis that he won't tell Stiles anything about. If anything, he's probably trying to make arrangements for Isaac and Erica and Boyd as the school year closes, to make sure they have somewhere to stay.
Stiles tells himself not to worry.
For once, he listens to himself.
Evidently, listening to himself for once was actually a good idea.
His dad is out, as usual, and he's sitting around, watching a Chopped marathon because, really, what else can he do with his time? He knows that, at some point, he's going to get to get too tired to keep his eyes open and he'll fall asleep with the TV on, and his dad will walk him, cover him over and shut the television off, as usual. It's become pretty routine, even more routine than Derek's visits.
He's still been swapping out DVDs, though, but mostly he just watches them himself, nowadays. He tries to convince himself that it's not pathetic -- he's enjoying them, after all, and they're all movies he's been meaning to see in the first place -- but it takes a lot of internal monologue to even get close to convincing himself that he's not waiting for something.
Stiles knows exactly what he's waiting for, too, and that's what aggravates him, because he's not this pathetic, or at least, he shouldn't be. He has his integrity, and he has friends, but he just chooses to stay in on stormy Saturdays and watch movies.
So he tells himself that he's been meaning to watch these movies anyway, because it's not completely a lie.
But now he's got some overdue DVDs sitting on his coffee table and nothing to watch but whatever reality TV show is playing this late at night (and to be honest, it's not a lot.) He's almost positive that his dad will walk in sometime to him watching Cupcake Wars and he'll have to try his damndest not to comment.
That's a thought, though, that's interrupted by the distinctive sound of knuckles on glass, and Stiles looks up, slower than he would have expected. He's just a bit distracted and just a bit sleepy, but he looks toward the window out of instinct.
Needless to say, he wakes up almost instantly.
He mutes the TV (he'll wonder later why, because he's not so sure why he did it in the first place) and bolts toward the window, and he almost forgets to hit the latches before sliding it up, the spring air flowing in to greet him. Derek's leaning against the outside of his house, and he looks at Stiles openly.
"Why the rush?" he asks quietly, and Stiles wants to be mad, but he just can't bring himself to be. He's too exhausted and too... well, apparently, the feeling is relieved, and he just can't bring himself to muster up any anger.
So he grins, tiredly, and shrugs. "Come on in."
Much to his surprise, though, Derek shakes his head. "I didn't come here for that." He feels his disappointment start weighing his heart down until Derek points through the window toward the coat hanger near the door to the kitchen. "Lock up your house and climb out. I want to show you something."
Stiles blinks. He's not sure how to react for a moment, but even as he's asking questions, he's moving. "Where are we going?"
He locks the front door and turns the television off. The lights were already off (he's starting to wonder if he's acting like a hermit) and he grabs a coat from the hanger, hoping that Derek doesn't know that it's the one he left a few weeks ago.
Derek shrugs. "It's near the edge of town. I promise it's worth all the hassle."
Stiles shrugs on the coat and, as he approaches the window, he feels odd about the sudden change of perspective. "The edge of town? Should I bring my keys?" Derek rolls his eyes and holds up something in his palm -- his key ring dangling carelessly from his middle finger.
"I'm driving." He says, tossing the keys lightly and catching them. "Now come on."
Stiles blinks, but doesn't argue. Derek's already walking back towards his driveway as Stiles is still climbing out, and he nearly trips on the landing. But he catches himself and slips the window closed behind him as Derek revs the engine of the Camaro.
The car's actually a lot more spacious than Stiles' Jeep, but it's probably because there's less clutter. Still, it feels pretty alien to be in the passenger seat of Derek's car -- he's only been in here once or twice, and most of the time, Derek's with him in the Jeep rather than the other way around. Part of him thinks that he should be fidgety, but for the most part, he just ends up staring down the dark street, past even the reach of the headlights, where the darkness swallows the road.
"We're almost there." Derek says, at one point, and Stiles responds with a quiet hum. He wasn't even all that curious, because he's surprisingly comfortable with riding in the Camaro with Derek. It may feel different, but it doesn't feel wrong, not by a long shot. He can't help but wonder if he'd enjoy a road trip to Seattle, if it would be like this.
Thunder rumbles overhead, but there's no threat of rain, not in dry weather like this. The weather reports have mentioned thunder, but not much else, so Stiles doesn't worry. Whatever Derek wants to show him, he's pretty positive he'll be able to see it.
They turn into an abandoned, dirt parking lot, and Stiles furrows his brow.
"Why am I getting horror movie vibes?" he mumbles, and he wonders if it was the right thing to say. Derek chuckles, though, as he pulls up slowly into the lot.
The headlights inch along the ground until they hit a solid surface -- it looks like an abandoned building, made of solid, white concrete, and Stiles can't help but find this even more obscure. "What? You mean this is where I'd take the opportunity to quietly murder you?"
"That's actually situation number six of the various ways you could kill me, yeah."
Derek's smile is warm, and it's one of the few genuine, happy smiles that Stiles has seen from him. "Shut up and wait." He flicks off the headlights and the surrounding area is thrust into darkness, before popping the trunk and getting out of the car.
Stiles wonders, idly, as he listens to the dull sounds of Derek rummaging through the trunk, how he could possibly see where he's going, but it would make sense, that a werewolf could see in the dark. He looks through the rearview mirror, and Derek hefts something out -- he can't see it in the darkness, but the general silhouette of it looks large and bulky and... unwieldy, to say the least.
He furrows his brow, and he wonders why he needed to be dragged to an abandoned building for Derek to show him some new gear.
Whatever it is, it's tall enough for Derek to mount it near the car and start fiddling with it. Stiles rolls down the window.
"So why did we need a giant block of cement?" he asks, because he's still not sure how the abandoned building has anything to do with this, but Derek dismisses him with a wave.
"Give me a minute."
Right as he says it, whatever's between his hands flicks on a light, and a large, illuminated square is cast against the side of the building, empty, but bright enough to see. Stiles opens his mouth to question, but then stops.
He didn't. Still, he can't help but let a grin spread on his face, and an overwhelming sense of happiness bubbles up from his rib cage.
Derek flips something on the contraction and jogs back over to the driver's side of the car, and he slips inside, opening the glove compartment in front of Stiles. There's a single, unmarked CD inside, and he grabs it, slipping it into the slot in the stereo.
Stiles shakes his head, still grinning. "Dude, this is so fifties."
The CD starts playing, and the light thrust onto the cement building flickers through a series of frames, and Derek shuts the door behind him, smirking. "Yeah, shut up and enjoy it. I found that thing in a friend's attic, I doubt it'll work more than once."
Stiles isn't entirely sure how, but the CD falls in line with the pictures suddenly being thrust on the building, and there's still a part of him, deep down, that can't believe that Derek's been missing for so long because he's been chasing down a projector.
He can't help but wonder if it'll be something horribly cheesy like Casablanca or Titanic, but Derek apparently lacks that much sentiment (and Stiles is a bit relieved, he's not sure how he would have dealt with a romantic movie.) But the title card slips into place and Stiles can't help but laugh.
"Dirty Harry?" he asks, and his voice is happy, almost excited, despite his words. "Of all the movies you could have shoved into a projector, you picked Dirty Harry?"
Derek shrugs. "It's a classic. And it's the only one I could find."
Stiles rolls his eyes. "You're a mess." he chuckles, but he slumps a bit further in the passenger's seat of the Camaro. Sure, it's an Eastwood film, he can respect that, and his grin scarcely leaves his face as the movie plays.
If there's a point, though, near the end of the movie, where they just flip off the CD and let the projector play silently while Derek pulls Stiles into his lap and kisses him with abandon, if Stiles presses back and shoves Derek further into the driver's seat, well... nobody needs to know about it.
It's just too fifties, anyway.
Stiles ends up kissing Derek one more time before slipping back into his house, and he wonders if the two of them are acting like idiots. He's not sure how they went from angst-ridden and confused to careless and happy, but he's pretty sure it's an improvement. He knows Derek's dealing as best as he can, that he's still got his own problems to sort out, but --
It strikes Stiles that he's trying. Before now, they kind of just fell together, but now... he's actually trying?
Stiles tells himself that that should scare him, but it doesn't. Besides, he just got brought out to see Dirty Harry against an abandoned, cement building, how cool is that?
He turns around, and the living room is still dark, just how he left it. He flicks on the lights and cracks his back, and it's got to be one in the morning or something. He's tired, but he's elated, and he knows it's way too cheesy for him, he knows he shouldn't feel this way about making out with a werewolf in the driver's seat of his car, but...
Well, let him be happy for once. If he wants to be cheesy, why not?
There's a scratching sound at the front door, distinctive of a key slipping into a lock, and the door swings open, revealing his dad mid-yawn. Stiles smiles at him. "Welcome home."
The sheriff starts a bit at the sound of Stiles' voice. "Why are you still up?" Stiles just shrugs, though, and before he bounds up the stairs to his room:
"I dunno. I've been busy, I guess."