It starts off innocuously enough – Derek drops by the Stilinski house to ask if the Sherriff would mind responding to any calls he might get about the Hale property himself. The pack was always welcome any time at the new house out on the preserve Derek had built over the summer. They all knew that, but he still didn’t want anyone else poking around. Derek had made it a point to get each of them a set of keys – but barring that, the Sheriff was really the only one he could really count on to look out for things.
The Sheriff is surprisingly amendable, and Derek is grateful Stiles and his father had come to some sort of understanding over the last year or so about the supernatural and where the lines should be drawn. It is of course, after all his job to make sure people didn’t go breaking into houses or trespassing on private property, but he also knew the man carried a magazine of wolfsbane and had the Argents, himself and Dr. Deaton on speed dial should anything supernatural arise. Really, if it wasn’t for the fact Derek and his pack and spent a lot of time and effort cementing relationships here in town he wouldn’t even be considering this harebrained idea at all.
He stays late enough to remind Stiles where he will be. The younger man was likely to be preoccupied with packing for college, and Derek wasn’t due to be back in Beacon Hills until Stiles’ first day on campus in San Jose. He didn’t want Stiles panicking if, God forbid, he didn’t answer his phone because he didn’t want Stiles to pay for the outrageous long distance fees on his cellphone bill. He’d be making enough of them in the weeks to come before he or the Sherriff remembered to upgrade his plan.
Not that Derek could do much from New York, which is where he would be stuck for the next five days – God help him, why was he doing this again?
Laura’s friends were holding some kind of get together in memory of Laura and had invited Derek. It’d been five years since she died and he still wasn’t sure he could handle being in Brooklyn again. It would be the first time he’d been back since her death.
It was funny, now that Derek thought about it. When he’d first left for Beacon Hills to meet up with Laura, to back up his alpha—the thought still chokes him up every time, how he’d failed her—he’d spent the entire drive counting the days until he could return to Brooklyn.
He’d been so caught up worrying about Laura, who’d made it a point to never be unavailable to Derek. She was the only one who truly understood the level and depth of anxiety that came wit being unable to contact a loved one. After he buried her, he’d been so consumed with his grief and rage, focusing so much on avenging her death that by the time he’d paused to take stock of things, five years had passed and he had a pack again. They weren’t his family, but it was a good, strong pack and he would do anything for all of them, even the humans like Stiles and Allison. He’d earned their trust and respect, loyalty and friendship and that was all he could ask for at the end of the day, more than he had really ever though he’d have again.
Which is why he was not expecting to find Stiles waiting for him, bag resting at his feet, room already packed.
“Stiles-” He leaves the question unasked, defaulting on crossing his arms and raising a single eyebrow at him. He tries not to glare, but he can guess what Stiles is thinking.
Stiles rubs the back of his neck, ducking his head – something that Derek recognizes not as submission from one of his betas, but something distinctly Stiles. Stiles, who has suddenly realized that this might not be one of his more well thought out plans.
“I, uh, thought you might want company? In New York?” His voice cracks on the last part, embarrassment and fear of rejection flooding Derek’s senses.
Derek just sighs.
He would argue the point that Stiles is supposed to be enjoying his last few days in town, with his dad and his friends. That Laura’s friends didn’t know anything about what goes on in Beacon Hills. That Derek knew this was going to be painful enough without having to check his feelings for Stiles – well that part Derek was going to firmly keep to himself, possibly forever.
But who was he kidding? Most days it was increasingly difficult to say no to Stiles, especially when he seemed so…hopeful?
Derek drops his arms in defeat. “Fine, but not a word about any of this –“ he breaks off, waving a hand at Stiles still intact crime board, “Got it?”
Stiles leaps to his feat, fist pumping in the air. “You got it, big guy. Not a word.”
“Like that would ever happen,” Derek mutters, but Stiles is already downstairs, talking to Scott on his phone, no doubt so he wouldn’t have to waste any time re-explaining it to his father. Derek only shakes his head before bending over to grab Stiles’ bag himself.