Each gentle breath that passed his roommate's lips shaded the air hanging above him white. Stiles' amber filled gaze traced the rise and fall of his broad chest, the way his fingers clung to the rough blanket, the part of his chapped lips. Nothing about him was peaceful. He was hardened scowls and agony wrapped in a wall of muscles, he was an outline of tragedy and grief lit at both ends, a beautiful firework that just needed a match. Stiles had no choice but to be transfixed. He had spent the entire day staring, studying in silence, as Derek adjusted to his new environment.
He never thought they would actually let him have a roommate, not after he'd been labelled 'volatile'; but if the orderly hadn't wanted to be bitten, her hand shouldn't have come so close to his mouth.
Streaks of moonlight broke through the barred window, soaking the two pale figures in an alabaster glow. Light spilled from beneath their steel door, coating the floor in a florescent yellow, but everything else appeared bathed in darkness. Stiles had surrounded himself in the shadows, tucked neatly into the corner, studying his new playmate. Worn fingers threaded through brown locks, catching on the knotted ends, as he watched Derek's eyes shudder beneath thin eyelids.
Derek Hale. 25 years old. Two sisters, one brother. All dead. Most of his other family members had suffered the same fate, too. One uncle, alive, in a coma. Stiles had read the man's file. Repeatedly.
Soft groans passed Derek's lips, his eyelids fluttering delicately as consciousness seeped back into his being, but Stiles made no attempt to stop staring. His head lolled to the side, eyes narrowed into slits as his gaze washed over the mess of empty sheets on Stiles' bed. His gaze quickened, dancing around the room once, twice, before finally landing on the shadowed figure. Stiles uncrossed his legs, stretching them out in front of him, before gathering them back to his chest.
"Were you watching me sleep?" he asked, voice rough and deep, shuffling on the bed until his body weight was resting on his elbows. Light illuminated Stiles' prominent knuckles, the only visible part of him in the inky darkness.
"Of course not," Stiles lied, like it was an instinct, a second nature. He buried the truth beneath a tremble of his voice. Derek's eyes, a steel green in the shining moonlight, tracked each steady movement of Stiles' fingers, each crack that echoed in the silence of the night.
Derek gave his reply in the form of a grunt. Stiles' body curved forward, face bursting through the darkness and into the strip of light, casting shadows in the dark ridges below his eyes. Their eyes locked, genuine interest meeting hardened malice, before Stiles was slipping from his seat.
"I couldn't sleep," Stiles continued, the truth spilling from him as quickly as the lie had. As he moved forward, Derek noticed how the purplish shadows stayed in place, eerily dark against his chalky skin. "And I thought, if I just stayed away for a few hours, I'd start to feel tired. And there isn't exactly much to do in the room, so I guess I just....had to stare."
It wasn't really a lie, not when the room had been stripped bare after the third time he had kicked another patient. It wasn't a lie, because he hadn't been able to sleep right since he had been dragged into Eichen. Staring at Derek was the only source of entertainment he had.
"That doesn't make you uncomfortable, does it, Derek?" he questioned, the man's name leaving his mouth as he paused beside Derek's bed. Suspicion blooms like a gorgeous flower over Derek's features, the ghosts of confusion tinging the downward curve of his lips. Stiles' feet scuffed against the cold concrete of the floor, listening to the squeak of bed springs as Derek shuffled. "I was just trying to get back to sleep," Stiles mumbled, confidence leaking from his voice as quickly as it had seeped in.
"Then go back to bed." Silence descended, two blank stares directed toward Stiles' mess of blankets. "Who told you my name was Derek?"
No one. The orderlies had merely thrown the man in to the room without a word, without an explanation, and Stiles had been left to gathering his own information. It hadn't been that hard; gossip traveled fast, stolen files even faster, and Stiles could get his hands on anything if he wanted.
"Is it wrong?" Stiles' knee bent, his sweatpants brushing against Derek's mattress.
"You seem to already know the answer to that," he muttered, lifting his head for the first time since Stiles had slinked from behind the shadows. He outlined the curve of the boy's shoulders, the overhang of a shirt that no long fit, the shuffle of Stiles' hips every minute or so before he was pulling his sweatpants up once more.
"Derek Hale," Stiles stated, tongue curling around the words like it was a treasure secret.
"Stiles Stilinski," Derek responded, numbed delight settling in the pit of his stomach as surprised lightened Stiles' whisky eyes. Wonder and astonishment flickered in the curve of his plump lips, before he was throwing his head back on a laugh. Derek's lips curled into a smile as empty as the laugh. "Don't watch me sleep again," he hummed, masking his smile with an irritated scowl, but Stiles just offered a wide grin in return.
"Only if you promise to tell me how you know my name," Stiles bargained, fingers twisting in the rough material of his sweatpants.
"They told me before throwing me in here," Derek explained. He wondered if he should share how they warned him about Stiles, but he doesn't bother. "How do you know mine?"
"They do have newspapers here, Derek," he scoffed, with a smirk, because it wasn't true. Because Derek would find that out soon enough. Stiles wanted to talk more, to enjoy the limited bit of human interaction he had been given, but the loud bang on the door discouraged him. The orderlies were always a little too harsh at night, a little rougher than usual, so Stiles was scampering back to his bed.