Derek’s not entirely sure when his feelings for Stiles go from moderate dislike to tolerant to… this. Whatever this is, he’s not entirely sure. It’s like every time he sees the hyperactive teenager, he gets this warm feeling in his chest cavity. It’s almost painful, a weird, empty feeling, almost like someone’s taken his heart and is slowly stretching it out. It’s a pleasant ache, though. Tolerable, and definitely better than the other empty feeling Derek seems to get every time he lies in his empty, burnt, shell of a house at night, a constant remind that everyone’s gone and that it’s his fault.
and i like you
but i don’t know why
i couldn’t explain
just how i feel inside
dream || jim and the povolos
He has enough common sense, at least, to make sure the teen never finds out about this development. He wouldn’t even be able to explain it, he can’t even explain it to himself. Derek has no idea why or how or when Stiles changed from an oddity of a name to an image of a boy with buzzed brown hair and not quite hazel but not quite brown eyes, his fair skin spattered with moles. He has no idea when the word Stiles became associated with curly fries and sarcasm and batman.
It has though, and Derek’s an adult so he deals with it like an adult. He’s perfectly happy with Stiles not knowing, perfectly happy with admiring from afar. Plus it’s pretty much common knowledge that the only reason the kid puts up with him is because he needs him to help deal with Scott.
And when he finds himself watching Stiles sitting on the old, ugly, green couch they’d bought from a thrift store, talking about the latest episode of Doctor Who with Boyd (who turned out to be a huge Sci-fi nerd), using his hands to illustrate the things he can’t quite describe with words, Derek allows himself to imagine a life where this was a normal, every day thing, only Stiles is talking to him about anything and everything, and he wouldn’t even interrupt because he’s seen how quiet the boy can be when he’s sad and he would take a never ending onslaught of words over that any day.
Except now Stiles has turned towards him and is asking him if he prefers spaghetti or lasagna because Stiles bought ingredients for both, and Derek just blurts out ‘lasagna’ because even though he had no idea that Stiles had even planned to cook dinner for the pack tonight, he really doesn’t mind.
Derek tries not to think about the fact that Stiles could do just about anything and he wouldn’t mind. Stiles could sprout another head and turn vomit green and Derek would probably still find him attractive. And Derek really has no choice but to keep it to himself because he would probably end up scaring Stiles off if he found out, but if he’s honest, he really does’t mind that either.