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The Art of Being Human

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The Art of Being Human – Therowan Sterek Fanfiction

 

Chapter One

It was strange how things seemed to fall back into a basic pattern. It’s just like breathing- one-two. It just happens. You wake. You get up and before you know it you are in motion.
The people in town kept moving around doing their day to day things. Easy in their comfort zones they kept their heads down and plodded on; but the air, the vibe, of the town had shifted slightly. Doors that were unlocked were now locked, little kids weren’t given free range at the park. Moms watched a bit more cautiously, dads held hands tighter, life proceeded but under a more clearing glare...Danger was around them, just unsure of where it would appear.


After Matt’s rampage at the Sheriff’s station people looked differently at their neighbors. Beacon Hills had felt the change finally, even if it was not discussed, the people knew on some level that things weren’t the same. It never was after a tragedy.
Stiles parked his jeep and sat breathing slowly. He hadn’t gotten much sleep in the past week. Seeing Gerard’s bleak and deadly eyes looming over him every time he had tried to sleep yanked him back to waking. He could still hear that voice so full of hatred. It was the total lack of anything human that struck him most about Gerard. He, the selfsame defender of humans against werewolves, was the one who in fact had been the greatest threat of all. And if Gerard had killed Derek? Become an Alpha? Like Scott had told him was the plan. Stiles closed his eyes and quickly banished that thought. Yeah, Derek Hale was scary as hell, but at least Stiles could sense something else there. The way he had cradled Scott to his chest and all but sprinted him to Deaton’s after the Rave. The way he stood between Stiles and Peter.
Yeah, Derek Hale was a lot of things…but Stiles would never think him a monster.
Settling back he eyed his fading bruises in the rear view mirror. He gave himself a frown. It’s not like he wasn’t used to getting a bit roughed up…but being kidnapped and beaten up by a deranged old man was a new low-even for him. “I’ve got to start lifting weights or something” he mumbled to himself. Christ. That was pathetic. Worse than pathetic because he hadn’t even gotten one hit in. His lie to his father had held, but it took him three more days to convince him not to hunt them down and arrest the “other students” for battery. Stiles fished out the crumpled shopping list and headed into the grocery store. Grabbing a cart he followed his route to the vegetables and fruit aisle. He grabbed some broccoli,green beans and the baby carrots he insisted his father eat with his lunch daily. He stood contemplating the bok choy when he heard his name.


“Well hello Stiles!” he turned to see Mrs. Wrangler his eighty year old neighbor wheeling towards him. Her dog, Lulu crammed amidst cans of creamed corn yipped and snarled at him.


“Mrs. Wrangler, good morning.” He decided he’d try something with the bok choy and tossed it into the cart.


“Oh. Sweet heart what happened to your face?” she reached out a powdery soft finger and tapped his cheek.


“Lacrosse. Playing lacrosse”


She clucked with her tongue and shook her head. “Such a violent sport! You’ve got to keep that handsome face of yours safe and protected! You shopping for your dad…” her eyes scanned the cart critically, and then smiled back at him. “I was so glad to hear that he is our Sheriff again. What a terrible thing that happened! It makes the blood run cold…I’m lucky I have Lulu here to warn me of trouble…” She bent down to pat the snarling poodle affectionately. Suddenly Lulu lunged and began snarling and yipping as if her life depended on it.

Both Stiles and Mrs. Wrangler turned to see Derek Hale gingerly sniffing at and picking up tomatoes across the aisle. He gave them a quick side glance. Stiles’ hand went up in a slight wave before he realized what he was doing. Mrs. Wrangler eyed Derek suspiciously. Derek moved off silently throwing a quick glance over his shoulder as he went.


“Now that one!” Mrs. Wrangler sniffed dismissively. “They should just run him out of town and be done with it.” She put her hands on her hips as if ready to take the lead in the march.


Stiles gripped the handle of his cart tightly, he felt a flush of heat up his face. “ And why is that? What has Derek Hale ever done?” He asked trying not to glare at her.


“Oh. You know he was brought in for questioning on all those deaths….Something just not right about him. His whole family really…May they rest in peace…Strange standoffish people.” She leaned in to whisper. “ They were some sort of cult I’m sure of it.” She squinted over her glasses at Derek’s retreating form. “I hear he is hanging out with the Lahey boy now…What is he thinking? Another death and very mysterious circumstances,if you ask me… He’s just trouble….Unnatural, you know the sort. Always alone. No lady friends…No one even knows where he lives….” She picked up a bunch of bananas and broke off three. “And that fire?” She said as if suddenly remembering. “Saying that that girl acted alone…preposterous. I remember seeing them together…oh yes. He was always following that Kate Argent around like a puppy. People said she was his tutor…but I bet there was some hanky-panky going on… if you know what I mean.” She winked at him. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t been part of the whole thing…collected quite a huge inheritance you know.”


Stiles jaw clenched. “You actually think he would have killed his entire family? Everyone he loved…for money?” He was angry. He could see her take a step back in shock at his tone. “Derek Hale is not a murderer. If anything he is a victim." Stiles took a deep steadying breath as the image of Laura's severed corpse floated back from his memory. "He lost his entire world and no one…No one…can even give the guy a break!” Stiles eyes drifted to the direction that Derek had gone.


Mrs. Wrangler pushed her glasses up and looked at him in disbelief. “I’m only saying what everyone else is thinking, my dear. You…you don’t actually know him…do you?” She took a slight step back as if Stile’s affiliation with Derek would somehow cause her some harm.
“I do. Yes.” Her audible gasp made him even more annoyed. “ And by the way.” Stiles hurled a bunch of bananas into his cart. “He was cleared of all wrong doings. And if that’s good enough for the Sheriff’s son it should be for you.” Stiles yanked the cart away and moved quickly from her surprised eyes and her idiotic dog’s yapping.
He paused in the next aisle and took a breath. He grabbed some pop tarts and shredded wheat for his dad. Looking up he saw Derek squatting down at the other end of the aisle, reading the back of some cereal box. Stiles saw people passing him pull their carts away and eye him suspiciously. A mother yanked her daughter roughly away as they neared Derek; as if his proximity were somehow a threat. Derek looked behind him at their hurried passing and blinked his eyes slowly, as if gathering some courage. The brief fragile look on his face made Stiles’ heart clench. Stiles pushed his cart up to Derek’s and stood looking down at him.


“Captain Crunch? Crunch Berries?” Stiles chuckled. “I’d thought you’d be more of a Mueslix kind of guy. You know with fresh sliced rabbits and opossum entrails. Yummy roadkill goodness!” Stiles snarled jokingly.


Derek didn’t look up, but Stiles caught a small smirk on the corner of his mouth. “Hello Stiles.”


He stood and threw the box into his cart. His eyes briefly flowed up and down over Stiles before looking down at the floor. “It’s for Issac.” His hand crumpled around a small piece of paper he was holding.


“Uh. Ok.” Stiles smiled at him. “That’s cool of you…I mean, to get stuff…food.” Stiles was fumbling. Derek looked up slowly. “You need something?”


Stiles gripped his cart. “Nah…Just saying 'hi'. I’ve got my list…You’ve got yours…We could you know hang and shop…Right?”


Derek frowned at him. “I think I can handle it, Stiles.” He looked back down at his feet. Stiles looked into his cart and laughed.


“Dude! What is this?” He looked at the sad assortment of crap piled in Derek’s cart. “Raman Noodles? Canned soup? Instant mashed potatoes?...Now is this any way to feed a growing body?”


Derek pulled his cart away. “Good bye Stiles!”


Stiles stepped in front of him. “Derek. Come on?”


Derek looked up at him and scanned the aisle nervously.


“Let me go Stiles. The last thing you need is for people to tell your father that you’re talking to that crazy Hale guy.” His voice hitched slightly as he said it. Stiles frowned at him.


“Fuck them if they do. I don’t care.” Stiles stood his ground waiting for Derek to look at him. “We’re friends right? I mean…sort of…”


Derek looked up with a slight glint of surprise in his eyes. Stiles didn’t give him a chance to escape. Instead he grabbed the few items from his cart and deposited them quickly into Derek’s. “Come on I’m gonna help you shop, and think up some things you can cook that won’t make you look like a total spazoid single guy…Not that you aren’t…not a spazoid…single …guy. I mean.” Derek’s eyebrows were drawn into a scowl as he watched Stiles arrange the cart. “My stuff here…Your stuff…Well not this or this…” He took out the offending items and casually left them on the shelf next to them. “Ok. First things first!” Stiles said with his best attempt at a smile. “There are four food groups…First thing is Vegetables and Fruits…Gotta keep that fur shiny and healthy…” Before Derek could comment Stiles pulled the cart and headed back to the vegetable aisle. He felt a thrill of happiness when both Lulu and Mrs. Wrangler gave off equally shocked expressions.


 


As they stood in the line for check out Derek began to grumble. “You do realize that all I have to cook on is a hot plate and a microwave.” Stiles ignored him.


“I’ve got you covered. Trust me.” Stiles smiled at him. They both paid and headed out. Derek begrudgingly peeled out his money to the cashier. Who kept looking up at him nervously with each bill. Stiles helped arrange the six bags into Derek’s Camaro. Then turned and smiled at him. “I’ll drop off my stuff then we can go to your house…That’s where you are now right? Not the underground playpen?”


Derek nodded. He opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Stiles interrupted. “So follow me to my house. I have an idea…” He jumped against his cart and rode it with a smile to his jeep. He turned and gave Derek a smile.
Derek shook his head but held back from responding. Instead he got in his car and followed the blue jeep back to Stiles’ house.


Stiles’ dad looked up from his paper when he heard Stiles enter, paper bags rustling. “ I hope you got us some real food this time…Those tofu dogs you bought last time should be illegal…” He stopped with his mouth hanging as Derek followed Stiles into the room also carrying bags.

“Stiles…Derek…?” The question hung in the air. Stiles smiled at him briefly, before digging into the bags and unloading them. His head ducked down and limbs moving as quickly as possible emptying the contents.


“Derek was at the store, he offered me a hand.” Stiles head disappeared into the fridge.
“That…was nice. Of you.” The sheriff and Derek stood looking at one another.


Derek shifted his bags and extended his hand. “ Mr. Stillinski.”

 

The sheriff shook his hand. His face puzzled.


“Where should I?” Derek gestured with his eyes to the bags in his hands.


“Oh.” The Sheriff stepped forward and took them. “ I’ve got it…thanks…” The Sheriff took the bags eyeing Derek with a questioning expression.

He carried them into the kitchen and deliberately bumped into Stiles’ shoulder. Stiles turned and smirked but only took the bags. “So dad, remember that old gas grill we got after Uncle Stewie died?”


His father turned back towards him as he was looking out into the dining room where Derek was standing. “Yeah…Why?”


“Well. Just thought…you know since we don’t use it…that maybe Derek could.” He continued quickly before his father could answer. “Derek’s fixing up his old…his house, and doesn’t have really anything to cook on and I thought…”


The sheriff blinked. He knew that the house had been released back to Derek from the town after the investigation with Kate had been closed. But he was living there? In that shell of a house? He gave a small groan. This was why Stiles was suddenly interested in helping Derek. He knew his son.


“Derek, come here.” The Sheriff mumbled. Derek walked into the kitchen slowly. He looked both annoyed and embarrassed at the same time.


“Yes, Sir?”


“You are living at your old house? I thought the town had it condemned?” Derek threw a glance towards Stiles back, as if to say “Dumb ass”; but he nodded slowly.


“I’m fixing it up. I had the building inspector in from town. The back of the house is structurally sound…I’ve started putting up supports and walls in the front…”


“But why live there…I mean you could rent an apartment…or motel room.”


Derek looked up his eyes sad and tired. “It’s my home.”


The Sheriff gave a deep sigh, then pressed his lips together. “Ok. I guess. I get that.”


“So…Dad. The grill? What do you think?”


The sheriff nodded. “Sure. Sure.”


“I can buy my own grill, Stiles.” Derek said suddenly he focused his gaze directly at Stiles. Stiles ignored him, brushed his hands on his pants and grinned innocently.


“No. Derek…Really its fine…Its just collecting dust in our garage.” The Sheriff said with a smile. “Save your money for fixing up your house.”


“Awesome. Let’s see if we can get it into my jeep. You’ll need to get a gas tank. So…Lets move.” Stiles tapped Derek on his back directing him to the door.


“Good bye, Sheriff, and thank you.” Derek shot Stiles another equally sour look and left.
Stiles stopped and grabbed his jacket off the kitchen chair and turned back to his dad.


“Ok. So I’ll see you tonight?”


“Wha..what are you doing Stiles?” his father asked.


“Gonna help Derek…You know the grill…Didn’t we just talk about this?” Stiles smirked. “You should be upping the dosage of your Omega 3’s. Early onset Dementia is not a good thing….” He turned back to the fridge. “There is some salad and baked chicken for your lunch…Eat your carrots…I’ll be back in a few.”


“Maybe, I can come help?” He whispered to Stiles.


“Dad, you’ve got work in an hour. Eat, rest and no worries. I’ll swing by the station on my way home from there.”


The sheriff frowned slightly, he hated the fact that he was suddenly afraid again for Stiles.. “Maybe Scott could help you guys? He around?”


“Nah.” Stiles said chewing loudly on a handful of carrots as he arranged his father’s plate for lunch. “He’s getting tutored today…Has to retake his midterms Monday…Here!” Stiles shoved the green leafy pile of goodness at his dad. “I’ll be fine.” He whispered seriously looking straight into his father’s eyes. His dad nodded in defeat then grimaced at the plate.


Of all the things Derek had ever witnessed Stiles Stillinski trying to maneuver and lift a gas grill had to be the most comical. “It’s just not going to fit Stiles!” He said for the third time. Stiles stood up huffing looking at him red faced and panting. Derek smirked. “It has to be taken apart…Like I said…before.”


Stiles threw up his hands. “Ok. Mr. Know it all! Have at it!”


Derek looked up at the sky in exasperation. “You know my groceries are still sitting in my car! That stupid frozen yogurt …That you made me buy…Is probably melting all over my seats as we speak!” He gestured angrily.


“Take a chill pill Cujo! I’ll handle this.” Stiles turned back into the garage and came out carrying his dad’s toolbox. “ Now if you don’t want your Camaro to smell like Cherry Garcia we had better hurry! Right? Yes, Right!” He handed Derek a screwdriver.
Derek gritted his teeth and squatted down next to him. “You are so…” He bit the word back when he saw Stiles’ big eyes widen at him. “consistently annoying!”


“At least I’m consistent!” Smiles beamed at him.

Finally with the grill in pieces, half crammed into the back of Stiles’ jeep, the other poking from Derek’s trunk they made their way back to Derek’s house.


While Derek rearranged the grill out back, Stiles began carrying in the bags of groceries. He had never been inside Derek’s house before.

Stiles’ eyes followed the charred black scars that ran up the front walls. It smelt of ash and rain. Derek had sealed the holes in the roof and sunlight glittered strangely through the small puddles of water that had been caught in the plastic. The kitchen was probably awesome at one time. Wide marble counters and a deep sink. The refrigerator looked big enough to store a body. Or maybe a deer? Stiles chuckled to himself. A generator line ran to the fridge from its position outside. Stiles could hear the chugging of the motor. Gallons of water lined the counters next to the sink.


Stiles carefully put down the bags, and leaned against the wall just taking it all in.

What memories did Derek have to face each time he stood here? His mother cooking dinner, his family sitting down together to eat…Stiles found a lump forming in his throat.

How hard it had been for him after his mom had died. He remembered sitting down with his father for that first meal alone together with the vast silence of his mother’s absence. They hadn’t dared cook in the kitchen that first week. As if trespassing on the last remnants of her, they had ordered take out…paper plates, plastic utensils. The kitchen remained pristine. Stiles rubbed his hand along the back of the single chair pushed in at the table. Visions of Derek alone here eating Raman noodles or canned soup made him suddenly angry.


It all was so unfair. Jerking himself from the thoughts Stiles took the remaining dry goods out and began to put them into the cabinets. When he saw the grit and debris, he changed tactics and decided to clean them out first.

A scurrying sound behind the wall made him yelp slightly. “Ok. Dumb ass rodent in there…You do know that werewolves live here so…save yourselves and skiddaddle!”


Once the cabinets looked and smelt somewhat cleaner. Stiles deposited the assorted pasta, organic soups in cartons…thank you very much, sauce and some seasonings before opening the refrigerator. The only things inside were packets of ketchup, a gallon of milk, a crumpled loaf of bread…and an old carton of what looked like Chinese food…that was it. He shook his head and began filling in the empty spaces.


Derek came in silently from the back door. “It’s together. You can go now.”


Stiles didn’t look up. “I told you I wanted to help…So…shoo…Go get the gas…And let me finish up.”

He turned and nodded at Derek. “Ok?” Derek’s eyes took in the pile of dirty paper towels, and scanned up into the organized cabinet.


“We forgot to get garbage bags…You have any?” Stiles said from inside the refrigerator where he was scrubbing at something that looked like it was ready to develop motor skills.

Derek huffed through his nose. “Stiles…”


Stiles stood up and turned looking at him. “No huffing and puffing…or else this house will fall down…” Stiles chuckled and looked around. “Just go…Ok. I’ve got this.”


Derek shuffled back and forth on his feet conflicted.


“Trust me Derek.” They held each other’s eyes for a second. Stiles could see the sudden bright flicker in Derek’s eyes. He held his breath waiting.


“Ok, Stiles…I…I’ll go.” He turned to leave but stopped. “Don’t go anywhere but here.” And he pointed at the floor.
“What if I have to pee?” Stiles whined.


“Use the sink!” Derek smirked.


“Gross!” Stiles said turning to look at the sink. “Good thing I made you buy bleach!”


When he looked back Derek was gone.


 

Stiles made good time of Derek’s absence. He pulled out more of the paper towels and began to wipe down any surface he could with the unscented cleaner Derek had demanded he get.

He sliced the vegetables and mixed up his marinade for the steak they had gotten. He gingerly set them into the fridge. He rummaged through the drawers and found old pots and dishes which he cleaned using as little of Derek’s water as possible.

He found an old table cloth, folded and barely nibbled by mice in the last drawer which had matching napkins. He set it out over the table, put down some of the clean dishes and utensils he found. Stiles took a step back and he smiled looking at it. It almost looked normal. He grabbed a broom and began to clean out the odd pieces of leaves and dust that had accumulated in almost every corner. A slight chuckle from the hallway made him jump.


“I didn’t know Derek had hired a maid.” Peter leaned against the doorway languidly.

His eyes smirking with mischief, as he looked at Stiles. “Or are you two just playing house?”

Peter took two steps and was next to Stiles in heartbeat. He leaned in slightly, intimately towards Stiles. “It’s good to see you again Stiles. We didn’t have the chance last time to pass pleasantries…”

Peter reached out to rub Stiles head. Stiles flinched back.


“Yeah for a dead guy you look pretty good.” Stiles pulled the broom closely to his chest. Peter’s eyes blinked slowly looking Stiles over.


“I’m glad to see that you have managed to stay alive…and as witty as ever.”


Stiles mouth hung open. His eyes fixed on Peter. “How did you…” Stiles shuddered slightly recalling Peter’s body engulfed in flames…from the bomb he had concocted and thrown.

Peter tapped his finger against Stile’s lips. “Shhh. I have my secrets…just like you Stiles…I wouldn’t want to ruin the ending.” Peter turned his head slightly as if listening, then turned back regarding Stiles. “It seems my nephew is back…I’ll come back later…I wouldn’t want to interrupt your little tea party…Tell him I’ll be back later…Oh. And Stiles. I look forward to us reconnecting.” He gave a little wave of his fingers towards Stiles.


Stiles let out a stuttering breath. He was sure Peter had heard his heart pounding in terror. He gripped the broom and gave himself a shake. No. He wouldn’t let Peter get to him. He turned his attention back to the job at hand. The kitchen looked better, cleaner maybe Derek would like it?


Suddenly Stiles realized that there was only the one chair. He moved into the room next to the kitchen which must have been a living room at one time. This room was even more scorched and shambled. “How the hell did that huge hole get in the wall?” Stiles could look through it to the front hallway and the foyer. He could see the staircase leading upstairs.


The only furniture in the room was a sagging couch, a burnt up armoire, a mirror and an old trunk.

The trunk made the best choice. Stiles dragged. Half carried it into the kitchen. He sat on it to check its height. Nope. He looked like a toddler at the adult table, His shoulders barely clearing the top of the table, which would make eating on it ridiculous.

If he turned it on its side…Maybe more like being on a stool. As he turned it over the latch slipped and it opened spilling out its contents. Papers and other small items sloshed inside and spilt out onto the floor. Stiles groaned and quickly bent down to gather them up.

When he had shoved them back in he realized a book was lodged blocking his efforts to close the trunk. Reaching in and lifting the lid slightly he pulled it out. The cover was worn and battered but it was clearly a photo album. Stiles brushed it off carefully and opened it.

There were family snapshots like you would find in any regular photo album. Smiling faces and groups of people standing together doing family things. Then suddenly like a weight had dropped on his head Stiles realized the smiling little boy blowing out his birthday candles was Derek.

The cowboy holding up his bag of Halloween treats with a opened mouth wild eyed joy was…Derek. Stiles felt his throat tighten as he looked at that boy. So cute and innocent looking. His fingers brushed over the small face smiling up at him.

Tears began to cloud his eyes as he turned the page seeing a tall long haired woman curled up sleeping with Derek stretched up against her smiling in his sleep. She had his dark eyebrows and a sweet gentle smile that seemed to pull at Stiles heart.

The light illuminating them like two slumbering angels. Another photo of a darkly handsome man carrying Derek on his shoulders, looking up wide mouthed and laughing. Derek and two girls kneeling by the shore. His skin glistening and bronze in the warm sun.

His face was smug and saucy as he was obviously showing off his sandcastle to the camera. A late afternoon shot of his sister Laura braiding their younger sister’s hair, sitting out on the back porch. An older Derek in his baseball uniform posing with his bat at his shoulder.

Stiles wiped the flowing tears from his eyes furiously. He heard Derek out back mumbling over the gas grill. He quickly and quietly shoved the paper and photo album back inside. Carefully he pulled the trunk back into the other room and tried to match its position as carefully as possible.

He noticed the skid marks in the dust and had a brief panic until he remembered the broom. With slow and deliberate sweeps he tried to cover the marks as best he could. He heard Derek pounding up the steps and enter the kitchen.


“Wh…what are you doing?” Derek eyed him. “I thought I told you to stay in the kitchen.”


Stiles looked down at the broom. “Well…I started sweeping and got caught up in the….Zen of it…You know. Just…sweeping.”


“Uh-huh…Why are your eyes red?” Derek stepped closer towards him. “Are you crying?” He sniffed slightly.


Freaking werewolves. Stiles smiled. “Just got some grit in my eyes….You know. Oh. And the onions didn’t help…” Stiles put the broom against the door way and headed towards the fridge.


“See got the veggies and meat all ready….The grill on?”


Derek nodded but his eyes were on the table. “You…you did this?”


Stiles nodded. “Well we can’t have a nice meal without a place to sit…Its ok?”


Derek grit his teeth causing his jaw to clench. “It’s fine Stiles. Come on let’s get this farce over…” He paused and looked almost apologetically at Stiles. “I mean…thanks for cleaning up…and …” he grabbed the plate with the steak and headed outside.

Stiles frowned at him but followed. “Don’t think you are skipping out on the veggies!” He yelled after him.

 

Derek found another chair and pointed at it for Stiles to sit. Stiles chuckled and sat down unfolding his napkin with a dramatic flourish.

The meal smelled good. Derek carefully put it down on the table before Stiles. Then he went to the fridge to pull out a beer for himself and a Dr. Pepper for Stiles.

Stiles eyed the beer with a smirk. “Oh. No beer for your new best friend? The one who cooks and cleans…” Stiles made his eyes big and his lips pouty.


“Shut up idiot…Like I’d give the Sheriff’s minor kid a beer.”


“I drink! And besides…You.” Stiles waved his fork at him, “Don’t even get drunk…So why even?” Derek smirked and took a long swig. “I like the taste. Why do you drink?”


“Uh…to get Drunk… duh…”


“Idiot.” Derek rolled his eyes. “Just eat.”


Stiles speared a piece of steak and put it on Derek’s plate along with a generous heaping of vegetables. Derek rolled his eyes at him again.


“I’m a big boy Stiles…You don’t have to serve me…And if you are even thinking of cutting my meat I will rip your hand off and serve it as a garnish!” Stiles slowly lowered the knife he had been inching towards the steak.


“Grumpy.” But Stiles smiled at him and together they ate in silence.


 

When Stiles got home he undressed, jumped into the shower and got on his comfy sweats. Lying back on his bed he closed his eyes and smiled. He felt good, he had had fun…surprisingly…with Derek.

Derek ended up eating another plate…Veggies and all. It was only through Stiles’ insistence to keep some for Isaac that Derek begrudgingly saved the last piece and some veggies.

Stiles stretched out on his bed and smiled again thinking of Derek in those photos. He seemed like someone from another world, someone who Stiles wouldn’t have ever been afraid of, someone he would have been easy friends with…like he was with Scott.

Yeah. There was more to Derek than people knew and Stiles would help him find it again. With a satisfied sigh, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.


“Wake up Stiles so you can see me kill you!” The voice was dark and low and right in his ear.

“HOLYMOTHEROFGOD!” Stiles wailed, jumping back and tumbling from his bed head first into the wall.

Derek stood looming over him, murder in his eyes. “Dude! Derek…What the hell?!”

Stiles scuttled up and switched on his bedside lamp. The sudden light making him blink like an owl at Derek.


“Why do I smell you all over this! Huh? Tell me Stiles!” He held up the photo album and waved it angrily in Stiles’ face.

Stiles eyes went wide. “I told you…” Derek clenched his jaw. “Not. To. Go. ANYWHERE in my house. Didn’t I tell you!” He swooped down and pulled Stiles up against his chest then pushed him back down against the bed. Stiles whole body bounced with the force of it. His mouth opened and closed frantically, his brain unable to answer.


“Why would you do that to me? Why?” Derek turned his face away quickly. His chest was moving rapidly.

Was he crying? Stiles scurried up to him, grabbing his arm. “Derek…I…” Derek pulled away from him angrily.


He turned his face towards him and Stiles could see the tears. He felt as if his heart had broken into a million pieces looking at those eyes.

Those were Derek’s eyes…his real eyes, the eyes of the little boy in those photos. He tentatively reached out and stroked Derek’s cheek

.
“I’m so sorry…Derek…It was an accident. I was just trying to move the trunk so we could sit together…and it opened…I never meant…”


“Their scent was on this…Stiles!...My Mother…Laura…” He groaned softly. “Now all I can smell is you…just you.”

He collapsed on the bed his head in his hands. Stiles felt his own tears flooding his eyes.


“Derek…Please…Forgive me. If I had known I would never have... I didn’t realize…I just.”


Derek was gone in a heartbeat. The only sign of him being there was the rustling of the blinds and the tears running down Stiles’ face.