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When Stiles comes back from studying abroad, he's different, and being taller than Derek is just the beginning.
There’s no indication of the danger Stiles had been in. Hyper aware of Stiles’ heart, Derek thinks maybe he understands what’s unsettling him—it’s steady: an unnatural kind of steadiness, unnatural for Stiles at least. Stiles who is always so animated and pumped, washing in and out of control and never static. Stiles who can barely talk about what he had for lunch without his heart palpitating like he’s doing jumping jacks and talking at the same time. Stiles talks about danger, blood-thirsty creatures, and his heart thuds in a steady rhythm. The mellow tempo of a steady drum. “You could have called,” is what Derek says, instead of all the things he’s thinking. He can barely convince himself he’s not imagining it, he’s not going to be putting it to voice any time soon.